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A Story from the Life of American 


Copyright, 1896, by Henry Altemus. 

For Daily Bread. 




For Daily Bread ... x 

An Artist's End . . . 15 j 

A Comedy of Errors . . 171 




A German steamer, the "Bliicher," 
from Hamburg, was on her way to 

It was the fourth day of her voyage 
and the second since she had left the 
green shores of Ireland behind and was 
on the open sea. From her deck, as far 
as the eye could reach, nothing was to 
be seen, but an expanse of greyish-green 
water, ploughed into deep, foam-crested 
furrows, getting darker in the distance 
and melting intO' the horizon covered 
with fleecy clouds. 

The reflection of the clouds lent here 
and there a pearly tint to the water, on 
the background of which the black hull 

4 For Daily Bread. 

stood out in sharp distinct lines. Her 
head was toward the "West and she rose 
and fell steadily with the waves; at 
times she seemed to disappear altogether 
and then again rose almost clean out of 
the water. Waves went to meet her 
and she went towards the waves cutting 
them in two with her bow. A long 
streak of churning, milky water trailed 
like a serpent behind and a few seagulls 
followed screaming in her wake. 

The wind was favorable, the ship was 
going at half speed and had hoisted all 
her canvas. The weather seemed to 
improve steadily, and long rifts of blue 
sky appeared between the ragged clouds. 
There had been a strong wind blowing 
ever since the "Bliicher" left Hamburg, 
but no gale. The wind was due west, 
but fell at intervals; then the sails came 
down with a heavy flapping sound but 
soon filled again. Sailors dressed in 
blue jerseys tightened or slackened the 

The Voyage. 5 

ropes with the monotonous chanting of 
"Yo-hoy! Yo-hoy!" stooped and rose in 
time to the doleful tune, which mingled 
with the boatswain's shrill whistle and 
the fitful puffing and breathing of the 

Attracted by the improving weather, 
most of the passengers had come on 
deck. There were the dark overcoats 
and hats of the first-class passengers; on 
the forecastle the motly crowd of steer- 
age passengers, mostly emigrants. Some 
sat on benches with short clay pipes be- 
tween their lips, others were stretched 
out at full length looking down into 
the water. 

Several palefaced women with child- 
ren in their arms, and tin mugs fas- 
tened to their belts crouched wherever 
there was room. Young men, steady- 
ing themselves with difficulty, walked 
up and dovm and staggering at every 
step, sang: "AVo ist das deutsche Vater- 

6 For Daily Bread. 

land?" and may be tlioiight tliat most 
likely they would never see tliat Vater- 
land again, but nevertheless looked 
cheerful enough. 

At a little distance from all these 
people stood two, who seemed more 
lonely and sadfaced than the others; an 
elderly man and a young girl. They 
did not speak German, hence their soli- 
tude among strangers. They were 
Polish peasants. 

The man's name was Laurence To- 
porek, and the girl, his daughter, Ma- 
risha. They were going to America 
and had only now come on deck for 
the first time. On their faces, yellow 
from recent sickness, was an expression 
of mingled terror and astonishment. 
They looked around with frightened 
eyes, at their fellow-passengers, at the 
sailors, the panting funnel, and the big 
waves which sent heavy spray and foam 
over the gimwales. They did not dare 

The Voyage. 7 

to speak even to each other. Laurence 
clutched at the railing with one hand, 
holding his square cap with the other, 
lest the wind should cany it away; 
Marisha held fast to her father, and 
when the ship heaved more violently 
she clung closer to him, uttering low 
exclamations of terror. After some- 
time the old man broke the silence: 


"Yes, Dad?" 

"Dost thou see all that?" 

"Yes, I see." 

"Art astonished?" 

"I am. Daddy." 

But she w^as still more terrified than 
astonished at what she saw, and old 
Toporek the same. Fortunately for 
them, the waves grew less in size, the 
wind fell altogether, and the sun burst 
through the clouds. "When they saw 
the sun once more they felt cheered and 
comforted, and thought it were the same 

8 For Daily Bread. 

as shone at home. Everything was 
strange and new to them, and only the 
life and warmth giving orb seemed an 
old friend and benefactor. 

In the meantime the sea had grown 
smoother. At the shrill whistle from 
the upper deck, the sailors nimbly 
climbed the rigging to furl the sails. 
The sight of these men hanging in mid 
air impressed the two with awe. 

"Our lads could not do that," said the 
old man. 

"If the Germans can do it, ours could. 
Jan could do it," relied Marisha. 

"Which Jan, Sobkoff?" 

"'No, not Sobkoff. Jan Smolak, the 

"He is a smart lad, I know, but put 
him out of thy head Marisha. Thou 
art going to be a lady, and he is noth- 
ing but a groom, and not likely to be 
anything more." 

"He has got his own bit of land." 

The Voyage. 9 

"He has — at Lipiuce." 

Marisha was silent after that and 
thought with a longing sigh, if Heaven 
had decreed it, all would come right in 
the end. The sails had been furled 
and the screw began to chum the 
waters, and the heaving of the ship had 
almost ceased. In the distance the sea 
looked smooth and blue. 

People began to come up more and 
more from the steerage quarters: lab- 
orers, German peasants, idlers and va- 
grants from different towns, all in search 
of a fortune — but not of work ; the deck 
became crowded, therefore Laurence 
and his daughter, so as not to be in 
in anybody's way, went to the farthest 
end of the bows and sat down on a coil 
of rope. 

"Dad, shall we be on the water much 
longer?" asked Marisha. 

"How can I know ? If I speak to 
anybody they stare at me and don't 

10 For Daily Bread. 

seem to understand a Christian lan- 

"And how shall we be able to make 
ourselves understood in America T' 

^TDid they not tell us that out there 
are thousands of our people?" 


"What is it?" 

"It is all very strange and wonder- 
ful, but it is best at home, at Lipince." 

"Don't talk nonsense, child!" 

After a while Laurence added as if 
to himself: 

"It is the will of God." 

Tears sprung to the girl's eyes and 
then both grew silent and thoughful, 
their minds wandering back to the past. 
Laurence pondered how it had come to 
pass he was on his way to America. It 
had happened in this way. Some six 
months before his cow had strayed into 
a neighbors field, and been impounded. 
The man who had taken the cow claimed 

The Voyage. 11 

three roubles for the damage don© to 
his clover. Laurence refused to pay, 
and they went to law. The case did 
not come on for some time. The neigh- 
bor did not claim damages alone, but 
also for the keep of the cow, and the 
costs grew larger every day. Laurence 
was obstinate and did not like parting 
with the money. He had spent a good 
deal already on the law suit, which 
dragged on for a long time, the ex- 
penses increasing steadily. At last Lau- 
rence lost his case. He owed the Lord 
knows how much for the c^w already; 
and as he had not money enough to pay 
the full claim, they took his horse, and 
sentenced him to a term of imprison- 
ment for resisting the law. Toporek 
writhed in despair. The harvest was 
at hand, when he and his horse would 
be wanted. He was late with his crops, 
the rain ruined the grain; all this 
through the bit of damage in a neigh- 

12 For Daily Bread. 

bor's field. All his money had gone, 
his harvest was mined, and beggary 
stared him in the face. 

As he had been a well-to-do peasant, 
lucky so far in all his ventures, he grew 
desperate and began to drink. At the 
inn he fell in with a German, who under 
pretext of buying flax, persuaded peo- 
ple to emigrate. The German began 
telling him wondrous things about 
America, and said that he could there 
get more land than the whole village 
owned, together with pasture-land and 
woods. Toporek's eyes sparkled with 
anticipation. It was too good to be 
time, and he would not have believed 
it, had not the dairy-farmer, a Jew, 
confirmed the German's tale, and said 
he knew from his nephew that land 
could be. got from the government for 
the asking. The German dangled great 
estates before his eyes. They tempted 
the man imtil he was fairly caught. 

The Voyage. 13 

Why should he stop here? Had he not 
already lost as much money as would 
have enabled him to keep a helper? 
Should he wait here until the last of 
the property was gone and then take the 
beggar's staff and sing at the church 
dooi"s? "N^o! we have not come to 
that/' he thought, and grasped the Ger- 
man's hand; sold out at Michaelmas, 
took his daughter, and here he was on 
his way to America. 

But the journey had depressed him 
not a little. To start with, they had 
fleeced him at Hamburg ; on the ship, he 
was one among a crowd of steerage 
passengers. They pushed him out of 
the way like a thing of no account and 
mocked at the language they could not 
understand. At dinner time, when all 
swarmed round the cook with their tin 
mugs, they were crowded out and often 
went hungry. The heaving of the ship 
and sight of that great waste of water 

14 For Daily Bread. 

terrified tliem. They were ill-at-ease 
and lonely among a crowd of strangers. 
Beside God's protection there was no 
other. Lanrence tried to look uncon- 
cerned before his daughter. "With his 
cap put jauntily on one side, he bade 
her look at things and marvel; he him- 
self marv^elled at what he saw, but at 
the same time his heart quaked with 
fear lest those heathens, as he called 
his fellow passengers, should throw him 
into the water, or make him change his 
faith, or sell his soul to the evil one. 

That very ship that went on churning 
the water night and day, breathed and 
panted like a living thing, and like a 
dragon trailed behind her a hail of fiery 
sparks seemed to him an unholy thing. 
These childish fears, though he did not 
acknowledge them before his daughter, 
weighed heavily on his heart; for this 
Polish peasant, torn away from his 
homely nest, was verily a mere helpless 

The Yoj£ige. 15 

child with nobody but God to prote<?t 
him. He could neither understand nor 
take in what he saw, and sitting with 
bowed head on the coil of rope, his 
heart full of nameless' trouble, he heard 
the wind whistle the name of "Lipince! 
Lipincel" The sun looked down at him 
and said : "How goes it Laurence ? I have 
been in Lipince." But the screw went 
round and round and churned the water, 
and the smokestack breathed and panted 
like twO' evil spirits that dragged him 
further and further away from home. 
Other memories, like seagulls follow- 
ing the ship, fluttered around Marisha. 
Hei' thoughts carried her back to a quiet 
evening, shortly before their departure, 
when she went to the well to draw 
water. Raising the heavy crane she 
sang : 

".Tan was driving his team 
Whilst Kasia went to the well." 

It was a sad little voice not unlike 

16 For Daily Bread. 

the howling of the swallows before set- 
ting ont for their long journey. FroDi 
the verge of the wood came a long 
whistle. It was Jan Smolak's signal 
that he had seen the crane moving. 

Presently the dull thud of horses, 
hoofs w^as heard, and then he himself 
appeared, jumped from the foal and 
what he said seemed to her now like 
some far off music. She shuts her eyes, 
andlistens again to^Jan's trembling voice 
"If thy dad proves obdurate, I shall 
throw up my place, sell the cabin, the 
bit of land, and follow thee. Marisha, 
where thou art, I shall be; as the birds 
fly towards the sun, I will fly unto thee ; 
I will sail doAATi the stream like the wild 
drake, or like the gold ring roll down 
the road until I find thee, my own. 
How could I live- without thee Mary? 
Thy ways will be my ways, what hap- 
pens to thee will happen to me, in life 
and death we w^ill be one; and as I have 

The Voyage. 17 

vowed here before the Avell, may God 
desert me, if I desert thee, my own 

Recalling these words Marisha saw 
before her the old well, the red moon 
rising beyond the woods, and the manly 
figure of Jan Avowing to be faithful. 

These thoughts carried hope and com- 
fort tO' her heart. Jan was finn and 
steady and she believed he would do as 
he promised. How she wished he were 
here listening to the sound of the waves. 
They would not feel so forlorn; he was 
not afraid of anything and always found 
a way out of every difficulty. AVhat 
was he doing now at Lipince ? Thei first 
snow must have fallen by this time. 
Has he gone to the woods with his axe 
or is he busy with the horses? Maybe 
they sent him off somewhere with the 
sledge, or he was cutting holes in the 
ice on the pond? Where was her sweet- 
heart now? And the girl saw the pic- 

18 For Daily Bread. 

ture of tlie village: the liarcl snow creak- 
ing under the heels of the passers-bj ; 
the ruddy glow shining through the leaf- 
less branches, and rocks flying overhead 
with their loud monotonous croaking, 
the smoke curling up from the chimneys, 
and in the distance, the woods pow- 
dered with snow, reflecting the red light 
of the setting sun. 

Heigho! and where was she? Where 
had her father's will carried her? As 
far as the eye could see nothing but 
water, ploughed into greenish, foam- 
crested furrows, and on these immense 
waters this lonely ship like a stray bird ; 
the sky above, a watery desert below, 
the sound of wind and waves around 
them, and before them, maybe, the end 
of the world. 

Jan, poor laddie, will you find her 
even if you could skim through space 
like a falcon, or breast the ocean like a 
fish; do you think of her in the distant 

The Voyage. 19 

Slowly the sim began to sink and 
dipped into the ocean. On the rippled 
surface of the water appeared a broad 
shining path skimmering and glittering 
with the ever changing motion, then sud- 
denly flamed up and lost itself in the 
distance. The ship, entering into the 
fiery path, seemed to rush on in pursuit 
of the vanishing sun. 

The smoke coming from the funnel 
became red, the sails and moist lines 
changed into pink, and the sailors began 
to sing. The glowing orb became lar- 
ger and dipped lower into the sea. 
Presently only half of it was visible, 
then a half-circle of shooting flames, 
and the whole west appeared like a great 
conflagration without distinction of sky 
or water; the waves murmured gently 
as if saying their evening prayer. 

At such moments the human soul has 
wings; long forgotten memories come 
back in crowds, lost loves hover around 
and we go to meet them. 

20 For Daily Bread. 

Laurence and Marisha both felt like 
this, though they were like leaves torn 
from the tree which has its roots deep 
in the soil. Their thoughts are not in 
the future but in the past. They go 
back to the lanes waving %vith golden 
corn where the thatched cabins shaded 
with lime-trees are dotted about; back to 
the soil, the great mother of all, who 
nourished them lovingly, honest and be- 
loved above all others on earth. That 
what their simple hearts had never felt 
before, they felt now. Laurence took 
off his cap and the last rays of the sun 
shone on his grey hair; his brain was 
working how to clothe in words and tell 
his daughter what he felt, at last he 

"Marisha! it seems to me as if we had 
left everything on the other side of the 

"Aye, our life we left there and our 
hearts," she replied in a low voice, and 

The Voyage. 21 

raising her eyes the lips moved as if in 
silent prayer. 

It had grown dark. The passengers 
gradually disappeared below, but there 
was still an unusual stir on deck. After 
a fine sunset often comes a stormy night. 
The ofiicers' whistle sounded continually 
and the sailors hauled in the ropes. 
The last purple light vanished from the 
water and at the same time a mist rose; 
the stars twinkled in the sky and then 
disappeared. The mist grew thicker 
every minute and gradually veiled the 
sky, the horizon, and the very ship. 
The only visible thing was the smoke- 
stack and the main-mast; the figures of 
the sailors looked like shadows in the 
distance. An hour later everything was 
wrapped up in a white shroud, even the 
lanterH. on the ship's mast and the sparks 
flying from the funnel. 

The ship did not roll any more. It 
seemed as if the waves had been crushed 

22 For Daily Bread. 

and smootlied under the weight of the 

The night came on very dark and 
quiet. Presently, amid the stillness 
there came mysterious whispers from all 
directions, then a heavy breathing as 
from a gigantic breast drawing nearer 
and nearer. At times it seemed as if 
a voice was calling out in the darkness, 
then more voices wailing plaintively in 
the distance. The voices are drawing 
nearer towards the ship. 

The sailors hearing them say the 
storm calls the winds from the nether 

The warnings became more' distinct. 
The Captain dressed in oilskins stood 
on the quarterdeck; the first mate took 
his usual position near the compass. 
The passengers had all gone below. 
Laurence and Marisha descended to 
their quarters. It was very quiet there. 
The lamps fixed on the low ceiling 

The Voyage. 23 

threw a dim light on the gToups crouch- 
ing ne^r their berths, or close to the 
wall. The room was large, but grim 
looking as a fourth class waiting room. 
The ceiling sloped towards the bows and 
the berths at that end were more like 
dark holes than sleeping places, and the 
whole compartment had the appearance 
of an immense cellar. The air was per- 
meated with the smell of tarred ropes 
and damp mouldiness. What a differ- 
ence between this and a fii*st class saloon. 
A voyage of even two weeks as steer- 
age passenger fills the limgs with poi- 
sonous air, takes the healthy color out 
of the face, and as often as not pro- 
duces scurvy. 

It was not many days since Laurence 
and Marisha had come on board the 
"Bliicher," and yet those who formerly 
had known the rosy-faced country girl 
would scarcely have recognized her as 
the same person. Old Laurence, too, 

24 For Daily Bread. 

looked very yellow. They looked worse 
than anybody else, because for the first 
few days they had not dared to go on 
deck; they thought it was not allowed; 
they were afraid tO' move; how could 
they know what was permitted and what 
was prohibited? They sat now, like all 
the others, near their belongings. The 
whole place was strewn with bundles of 
all shapes and sizes. Bedding, gar- 
ments, provisions, and tin vessels were 
distributed everywhere in little mounts; 
and on these sat the emigrants, mostly 
Germans. Some chewed tobacco, others 
smoked pipes; the clouds of smoke 
curled up tO' the low ceiling and dimmed 
the light of the lamps. A few child- 
ren wailed in the comers; but the usual 
noise and racket had subsided; they all 
seemed tO' be subdued or oppressed by 
the fog. The' more experienced emi- 
grants knew a storm was coming. It 
was no secret to all of them that danger 

The Voyage. 25 

was drawing nigh, maybe death 
Laurence and Marisha knew nothing 
about it, though when the hatchway was 
opened they heard the sinister voices 
coming from the boundless space. 

They were sitting near the bows, 
where the annoying motion of the ship 
was mostly felt, and for that reason they 
had been pushed there by their com- 
panions. The old man was munching 
a piece of dry bread, the remnant of 
provisions brought from home, and 
Marisha, tired of doing nothing was 
braiding her hair for the night. 

After a time the dead silence, inter- 
rupted only by the cries of children, 
seemed to attract her attention. 

"Why are the Germans so quiet to- 
day?" she asked. 

"How can I know?" replied Laurence. 
"Maybe it is some religious ceremony 
of theirs." 

Suddenly the ship rocked heavily as 

26 For Daily Bread. 

if startled by a dreadful apparition. 
The tin vessels on the floor clattered; 
the gloomy light jumped and flared up, 
and frightened voices asked: 

"What was that?" 

There was no answer. Another shock, 
more powerful than the first, struck the 
ship; the bows rose suddenly and as 
suddenly fell again, and a heavy wave 
came crashing against the ship's planks. 

"A storm is coming," whispered Ma- 
risha, in a terrified voice. Then some- 
thing roared around the vessel like the 
wind among huge forest trees, or a pack 
of hungry wolves in scent of a prey. 
The wind struck the ship once or twice, 
and laid her low, then turned her round, 
raised her high, and hurled her down 
into the depths. The timber creaked, 
the tin mugs, kettles, and bundles were 
thrown from one comer to the other. 
Scattered feathers were flying round, 
some people trying to steady them.selves 

The Voyage. 27 

fell do"OTi on the floor, and the lamps 
jingled and rattled dolefully. 

Then came a roar, a heavy thud, and 
the splashing of waves across the deck; 
the ship staggered as though in a drunk- 
en frenzy, and the wailing of the child- 
ren and outcries of women, mingled 
with the shrill whistle from the quar- 
terdeck, and the heavy tread of the 

"Holy Mother of God!" whispered 

The bows of the ship where both were 
crouching rose and fell rapidly and in 
spite of their holding on to their berths 
they were bruised against the beams. 
The roaring of the waves increased, the 
timber creaked and groaned, and it 
seemed as if at any moment the ship 
would go to pieces. 

"Hold on fast, Marisha," shouted Lau- 
rence, so as to make himself heard amid 
the uproar, but terror held him by the 

28 For Daily Bread. 

throat as it did the others. Even the 
children left off wailing, the women did 
not scream any longer, but all breasts 
were heaving in silent anguish, and con- 
vulsive hands clutched anything for 

The force of the storm was still in- 
creasing. The elements had lashed 
themselves into fury; the mist was mixed 
up with the darkness, the clouds with 
the water, the wind with the foam. 
The waves thundered against the ship 
with the roar of cannons and great 
masses of seething water swept over her, 
fore and aft. 

The oil lamps, one by one, began to 
go out. It became darker and darker, 
and to Laurence and his daughter it 
seemed like the darkness of death. 

"Marisha," began the peasant in a 
gasping voice, because the breath failed 
him, "Marsiha, forgive mei that I led 
you intO' destruction. Our last hour 

The Voyage. 29 

has come. We shall never see the world 
with oiir sinful eyes again. No holy 
sacraments for ns or Extreme Unction; 
not for us to lie in sacred gTOund, but 
from the waters we must rise for the 
Last Judgment." When he said this, 
Marisha understood that all hope was 
lost. Various thoughts crossed her 
mind and something seemed to cry out 

"Jan! Jan! My own, do you hear 
me in far off Lipince?" 

A teiTible anguish tore her heart and 
she began to sob aloud. Her sobbing 
became audible amid the general silence. 
Somebody from a corner called out : "Be 
still!" and then as if afraid of his own 
voice relapsed again into silence. The 
glass fell down from a lamp, and an- 
other light went out, and it became 
darker still. The people huddled to- 
gether, to be within reach of each other. 
The awful silence still reigned unbro- 

so For Daily Bread. 

ken, when amid the general hush, the 
voice of Laurence rose in a quavering 
but sufficiently loud tone: 

"Kyrie Eleison." 

"Ohriste Eleison," responded Marisha 

"O Lord, we beseech thee to hear us." 

"O Lord have mercy upon us." 

They were saying the Litany. 

The voice of the old man and the 
faltering response of the girl sounded 
very solemn in the darkness. Some of 
the emigrants bared their heads. Grad- 
ually the two voices became steadier and 
grew more distinct amid the roaring 
element which played the accompani- 

Presently piercing screams came from 
those stationed near the hatchway; the 
door burst open, the water rushed in 
and flooded the compartment. The 
panic-stricken women climbed on the 
berths and each thought their last hour 
had come. 

The Voyage. 31 

Upon this an officer, lantern in hand, 
appeared in the door, his red face glis- 
tening with moisture. He explained in 
a few words that the water had come in 
by accident, and that there was but lit- 
tle danger for the ship on the open sea. 
About two hours passed. The tempest 
still raged as fiercely as ever. The tim- 
ber creaked and strained, the ship rose 
and fell but did not founder. Another 
few hours passed, and the grey dawn 
peeped through the heavily barred win- 
doAvs. The morning light looked weird 
and sad as if scared at its own appear- 
ance, but it brought hope and comfort 
to the passengers. After having re- 
peated all the prayers they knew by 
heart, Laurence and Marisha crept to 
their hearths and fell into a heavy sleep. 

They were awakened by the sound of 
the breakfast bell, but neither of them 
felt any desire for food. Their heads 
felt as heavy as lead; especially the old. 

32 For Daily Bread. 

man's, whose brain was too confused to 
form a single idea. The German who 
persuaded him to emigrate had told him 
he would have to cross the water; but 
Laurence had never dreamed there 
would be so much of it, and that it 
would take so many days and nights to 
cross it. This idea about crossing the 
water was a ferry boat in which he had 
crossed the river many times. Had he 
known the sea was so wide he would 
never have left his native laud. Besides 
this, another more terrifying thought 
tormented his brain: had he not brought 
his soul and that of his daughter to 
eternal perdition? Was it not a mortal 
sin for a Catholic from Lipince to tempt 
Providence by going across that waste 
of water where they had been now five 
days and nights without seeing any land 
at all; if there be any to be seen? His 
doubts and fears tore him hither and 
thither, till he could not think anymore. 

The Voyage. '^3 

The storm raged forty-eight hours and 
then abated. They dared once more to 
venture on deck, but when they saw the 
huge mountains of water still tossing 
wildly about the ship, they thought that 
only God's hand, or a superhuman power 
could save them. 

At last it became fine again But 
one day passed after another with noth- 
ing around them but the deep waters, 
sometimes green, then blue, melting 
into the distant horizon. Clouds drifted 
along the sky which took red and golden 
hues towards sunset, and the ship seemed 
to be following in their wake. 

Laurence thought there was indeed 
no limit to the water, and he resolved 
to try whether he could make himself 
understood by somebody on the ship. 

He lifted his square cap and bowing 
very lowly, he humbly addressed a pass- 
ing sailor: 

"Could the gracious Pan tell me how 

34 For Dail: Bread. 

soon we might arrive at the other side 
of the water?" 

O wonder! the sailor did not burst 
out laughing as the others had done 
when Laurence spoke to them, hut stood, 
still and listened. A puzzled expres- 
sion came into his rugged face as if he 
tried hard to remember something long 
ago forgotten; after a short pause he 
asked : 


"Shall we soon see land, gracious 

"Two days, two days," repeated the 
sailor with some difficulty, and raised 
two fingers, to make his meaning clearer. 

"Thank you, humbly." 

""Where do you come froon?" 

"From Lipince." 

"Was is das Lipince?" 

Marisha, who had approached during 
their conversation, raised her eyes tim- 
idly to the sailor, and blushingly said 
in a low voice: 

The Voyage. 36 

"We come from Posen, please sir." 

The sailor looked thoughtfully at the 
girl and her flaxen hair and something 
like emotion seemed to work in that 
rugged countenance. 

After a short pause, he said gravely: 

"I have been in Dantzig — I under- 
stand Polish — I am a Kashuba, your 
bruder — but that was long ago. Jetzt 
bin ich Deutsch." 

Saying this, he drew at the line he 
held in his hand with the monotonous 
sailor's "Yo-hoy!" 

Henceforth whenever Laurence and 
Marisha appeared on deck he greeted 
them with a friendly smile; and they 
rejoiced at having found a single soul 
on this German ship that was well dis- 
posed towards them. 

Two days later when they came on 
deck, a strange sight met their eyes. 
They saw in the distance something rock- 
ing on the sea, and when the ship came 

36 For Daily Bread. 

nearer, thej saw it was a red cask rocked 
by the waves; in the distance appeared 
another, a third, and a fourth. In spite 
of a slight mist the smooth water shone 
like silver and as far as the eye could 
see, red casks in numbers were floating 
on the surface. Seagulls with shrill 
cries fluttered about the ship, and the 
deck now became very lively. The 
sailors began changing their jerseys, 
some washed the deck, while others were 
busy polishing the brasswork, or hoist- 
ing the flag. Animation and joy pre- 
vailed among all the passengers who 
crowded the deck, strapping together 
their lighter luggage and parcels. 
Seeing all this, Marisha said: 
"Surely that means we are near the 
end of our voyage," and both brightened 

And then in the East appeared the 
island of Sandy Hook, and another is- 
land crowned with a huge building, and 

The Voyage. 37 

further on appeared a thick mist or 
cloud, like curling smoke along the shore 
full of shadowy fonnless shapes. A 
joyous murmur broke from the crowd 
and many hands pointed in that direc- 
tion, even the boatswain's shrill whistle 
seemed to participate in the universal 


"What is it?" asked Laurence. 

"New York," replied the Kashuba 
sailor, who stood near him. 

Whilst the ship ploughed onwards, 
the misty cloud seemed to grow more 
transparent and roofs, chimneys, and 
pointed towers to emerge from it. Be- 
low, near the town appeared a forest of 
masts, their various colored flags flutter- 
ing to the breeze like so many flowea:^ 
on a meadow. The ship came nearer 
and nearer — and a beautiful towm seem- 
ed to rise almost out of the water. A 
great joy and wonder took hold of Lau- 
rence's heart. He raised his cap, opened 

38 For Daily Bread. 

his mouth, and looked and looked, then 
turned to his daughter: 

'•'Marisha! dost see all that?" 

"Oh, Merciful Saviour, what a sight!" 

"And dost thou marvel, Marisha?" 

"I do, Daddy." 

Laurence not only mar\^elled at what 
he saw, but his eyes began to shine. 
Seeing the green banks at either side 
of the town and the long stretches of 
wooded parks, he exclaimed: 

"Well! God be praised! If they will 
let me have some land close to the town ; 
with that meadow there, it would be 
convenient to the market. Come mar- 
ket-day; I take a cow, a pig or two, and 
there is a ready sale. There is people 
there as thick as poppy-seed. In Po- 
land I was a peasant, here I shall be a 
Pan (master)." 

At that moment they came in sight 
of the Batteiy Park, its whole length, 
and Laurence seeing all those trees, said 
3 S'ain : 

The Voyage. 39 

"I shall bow deeply before the gra- 
cious commissioner, and maybe give a 
hint to let me have a bit of that wood- 
land too or at least to give me pennis- 
sion to gather fuel. If we are to be 
land owners let us have somethino; o-ood. 
Early in the mornings I should send the 
helper with timber to the market 
Praised be the Lord! I see the Gemian 
has not deceived me." 

Marisha also smiled at the thoughts 
of their great possession and what her 
Jan would say when he found her a 
gTeat heiress. 

In the meanwhile a boat with the 
quarantine officials approached the ship, 
and four or five men came on deck. 
Then another boat from the city itself 
bringing agents from hotels, boarding 
houses, railways, and money-changers, 
all these pushing and jostling each other 
occupied the whole deck. Laurence 
and Marisha did not know what to do 

40 For Daily Bread. 

with themselves amid that seething 

The Kashuba sailor advised Laurence 
to change his money, and he would 
stand by him and see that ho was not 
cheated. This advice Laurence follow- 
ed. For the money he had, he received 
forty-seven silver dollars. Before all 
this was settled the ship had come near 
the town and not only were the houses 
plainly visible but also the wharves and 
the people standing there; then passing 
other greater and smaller ships they en- 
tered the ship's dock. 

The voyage was over. 

People streamed across the gangway 
like bees out of a hive. The firet-class 
passengers took the lead, after them 
came the second class, and lastly the 
steerage passenger. When Laurence 
and Marisha, jostled by the crowd, ar- 
rived at the gangway they foimd their 
friend, the sailor, standing close by. 

The Voyage. 41 

He grasped Laurence by the hand, and 

"Bnider, I wish you Gliick, and to 
you also maiden. God speed you!" 

"God bless you/' both said in one 
voice as there was no time for more 
words. The crowd carried them along 
the narrow gangway into the spacious 
inclosure. Officials shook and squeezed 
their bundles, then shouted "all right," 
and pointed to the door. They passed 
across and found themselves in the 

"Daddy! what shall we do now?" 

"We must wait here," said Laurence. 
"The German told me an agent from 
the government would come to take care 
of us." 

And so they stood close to the wall 
waiting amid the noise and turmoil of 
the great town. They had never seen 
anything like it. Broad and straight 
streets before them crowded with 

42 For Daily Bread. 

people, as if at a fair, and car- 
riages, laden wagons and om- 
nibuses rolling along in one incessant 
stream. Workmen were shouting to 
eacli other, vendors crying out their 
wares, a very babel of unintelligent 
voices. Black people with curly heads 
passed them every moment. At the 
sight of those, both Laurence and Ma- 
risha crossed themselves piously. They 
felt utterly bewildered in a place so full 
of noises, whistlingof locomotives, rumb- 
ling of wheels and human voices. 
Everybody seemed in such a hurry, as 
if running away from somebody or in 
chase of something; there seemed to be 
no end to the crowd and strange looking 
faces, black, olive-colored or red. "Where 
they were standing, near the docks, 
everything was in motion; bales were 
taken from one ship to another, laden 
carts arrived very minute, and wheel- 
barrows rumbled over the bridges; there 

The Voyage. 43 

was an everlasting noise as in a saw mill. 

Thus passed an hour— and another; 
they still remained close to the wall, 
waiting for the agent. 

He looked strange and out of place 
there, this Polish peasant, in the long, 
grey hair, and square, fur-cap; with the 
fair-haired girl, in her close fitting bo- 
dice open at the throat, with rows upon 
rows of beads around her neck. 

People passed them without a look. 
ISTobody here wonders at new faces or 
strange dresses. 

Another hour passed ; the sky became 
overcast, rain and sleet began to fall, 
and a cold wind blew from the water. 
They still waited for the agent. 

The peasant is by nature patient and 
much enduring, but his heart began to 
fail him. It had been lonesome enough 
on board ship among strangers and sur- 
rounded by that immensity of water. 
They had prayed to God to lead them 

44 For Daily Bread. 

safely across the wateiy desert. They 
thought if they once touched land again 
they would be' safe. And here they were in 
a great town amid noisy crowds, lone- 
lier and more terrified than when on 
board ship. 

What should they do if the agent 
did not come at all, if the German had 
told them what was not true? 

At the very thought their simple 
hearts beat faster, they would be lost 

And the wind grew colder and the 
rain soaked through their clothing. 

"Marisha, art thou cold?" asked Lau- 

"Yes, Daddy, very cold," whispered 
the girl. 

The town clocks again struck the 
hour. It was getting dusky. The 
movement in the wharves slackened, the 
lamps were lit and a stream of glaring 
light filled the street. The dock-labor^ 

The Voyage. 45 

ers in lesser or greater groups, singing 
and shouting, marched past them to- 
wards their homes and rest. They had 
nowhere to go, the cold pierced their 
bones, and they began to feel very hun- 
gry. If they had only a roof over their 
heads to shelter them from the rain — 
and the agent did not come. 

Poor Laurence, poor Marisha, there 
are no such things as agents to look after 
stray emigTants. The German was 
agent for a steamship company that paid 
him a commission of so much per head 
for every emigrant. It was his business 
to send as many on board ship as he 
could and he did not trouble himself 
about anything else^. 

Laurence felt that his feet were giv- 
ing way, a great weight seemed to press 
him down to the earth; it must be the 
wrath of God which hung over him, he 


46 For Daily Bread. 

'^usli! be quiet, there is no mercy 
for us." 

"Daddy! Let us go back to Lipince." 

"Let us go and drown ourselves!" 

"O, Merciful God!" whispered Ma- 

Laurence's heart was suddenly stirred 
with compassion. 

"Poor orphan! If the Lord would 
only show mercy to thee." 

But Marisha did not hear his words; 
her eyes had closed and she slept. Fev- 
erish dreams earned her back to Lipince, 
and she heard Jan, the groom, singing: 

'' 'Tis a great, great lady, my blue-eyed Sue, 
All her possessions, a garland of rue." 

The pale morning light in the New 
York docks fell upon the masts, the 
water, and the emigTant building. Then 
it touched gently two figures sleeping 
under the wall. Their faces looked 
pale, and thick flakes of snow were cling- 
ing to their garments. 



In ISTew York, coming from Broad- 
way and passing Chatliam Square, in 
the direction of the river, one crosses 
several streets. Here the traveler finds 
himself in a part of the city more and 
more poor, desolate, squalid, and 
gloomy. The streets are getting nar- 
row; the houses, built perhaps by the 
early Dutch settlers, are cracked and 
grown crooked from extreme old age; 
the roofs are bent in, the plaster has 
peeled off from the walls, and the walls 
themselves have sunk only part of the 
windows show above the street. Crook- 
ed lines take the place of the favorite 
straight lines of American streets, roofs, 
walls, all are strangely out of shape and 
piled up one above the other. 

48 For Daily Bread. 

Being close to the river, this part of 
the city is scarcely ever dry, and the 
narrow streets thickly studded with 
houses are like marshes full of black, 
stagnant water with all kinds of refuse 
floating on its greasy surface. There 
is everywhere dirt, untidiness, and hu- 
man misery. 

In these quarters are the boarding 
houses, where for two dollars a week bed 
and food may be obtained; here also are 
the barrooms, where the whalers entice 
all sorts and conditions of men to their 
ships; here agents from Venezuela, 
Ecuador and Brazil tempt the unwary 
to their fever-stricken marshes; eating- 
houses where they feed their customers 
on salt junk, bad fish, and oysters; gamb- 
ling dens, Chinese laundries, and va- 
rious sailore' homes; here lastly are the 
dens of crime, wickedness, misery and 

And yet this part of the city is very 

At Nevr York. 49 

crowded, for all the emigrants who can- 
not find room in Castle Garden and will 
not or cannot go to the lodging houses 
congregate' here, live alid mostly die 
hera One might say that if the emi- 
grants are mostly the scum of European 
countries, the inhabitants of this place 
are the scum of emigration. The peo- 
ple here are mostly idle, partly because 
they cannot obtain work and partly be- 
cause they w^ll not work. Night is 
made hidious by revolver shots, cries 
for help, hoarse yells of rage, songs of 
drunken brawlers, or the howling of 
quarreling negroes. In the daytime, 
prize fights and betting on the princi- 
pals are the customary amusements of 
the inhabitants. Ragged children and 
ourly-headed little negroes and mulat- 
toes crowd the streets, picking up stray 
bits of vegetables or bananas, and ima- 
ciated begger women stretch out their 

50 For Dailj Bread. 

hands for alms if a well dressed person 
happens to pass by. 

In this earthly Gehenna we find our 
old friends, Laurence Toporek and his 
daughter, Marisha. The lordly posses- 
sion of which they had dreamed had 
vanished into air, and reality was before 
them in the shape of a narrow base- 
ment, deep in the ground, with one 
broken ^vindow, the walls stained with 
damp and black fungus, the whole fur- 
niture consisting of a rusty, battered 
stove, a three-legged chair, and a heap 
of straw which serves for a bed. 

Old Laurence on his knees before the 
stove, is searching among the ashes for 
a stray potato, and he returns to this 
search again and again; Marisha is sit- 
ting on the straw, her hands clasped 
round her knees, her eyes staring on 
the floor. She looks ill and wan. It 
is the same Marisha, but the once rosy 
cheeks are pale and thin, the whole face 

At New York. 51 

is smaller, and the great blue eyes have 
a vacant look. Her face shows the 
effects of foul air and scanty nourish- 

They lived mostly on potatoes; and 
now even these' have failed, and they 
do not know what to do next, nor how 
to livoi. It is three months since they 
came into this place and their little 
supply of money is gone. Laurence 
tried to get work, but nobody could un- 
derstand what he wanted. He Avent to 
the docks ready to carry bales, or load 
coals into the ships, but the Irishmca 
drove him away. 

Of what use was a laborer who could 
not understand what was said to him. 
Wherever he went, and whatever work 
he tried to do, he was pushed aside and 
laughed and jeered at for his pains. His 
hair had grown snow-white with sorrow, 
hope' had left him, his money was gone, 
and hunger stared in the face. 

52 For Daily Bread. 

At home, among his own people, even 
extreme poverty would have looked dif- 
ferent. With staff in hand and a wallet 
slung across his shoulders, he would 
have stood singing near the cross on 
the roadside or at the church entrance: 
the lord of the manor would throw him 
a coin from the carriage, the lady send 
out a rosy-faced child who would look 
wonderingly at the poor man and put 
money into his hand; a peasant would 
give him half a loaf of bread, and 
other bits of meat, he would feed like 
the birds that neither plough nor sow. 
Besides, standing under the cross, he 
would have God's protecting arms above, 
around him the sky and fields, and in 
the quiet stillness the Lord would hear 
him singing in his praise. Here in this 
great town there was the continual noise 
and rush of people always in a hurry; 
it seemed like a gigantic wheel turning 
round and round and crushing all that 
could not come up with it. 

At New York. 53 

Heigho! wliat a difference from his 
former life! At Lipince, Laurence 
owned a goodish bit of land; he was 
elder in the village, respected by every- 
body and sure of his meals for the next 
day. On Sundays he stood before the 
altar with a wax candle in his hand; 
and here, he was the last among people, 
a stray dog in a strange yard; humble, 
trembling, and hung'r)\ 

His conscience cried out loudly: 
"Laurence, why didst thou leave thy 
home?" Why? Because God had be- 
reft him of his senses. 

The peasant has much endurance and 
can-ies his burden patientW enough, if 
he sees a ray of light at the end of his 
calvary; but Laurence knew well enough 
that it would be worse every day, and 
tJie sun would rise every morning to 
show a still greater depth of miser\' for 
himself and his child. "What should 
he do? A rope, a -prayer, and there 

54 For Daily Bread. 

would be an end of it. He was not 
afraid to die — but what would become 
of the girl? 

When he though of all this, he felt 
that not only God had forsaken him, 
but tliat he was going mad. There was 
no ray of light in the darkness he saw 
before him; and the greatest pain which 
continually gnawed at his heart he 
could not even define or give a name 
to: it was homesickness. The simple 
peasant yearned for his pine woods, 
thatched cabins, priests, and landlords, 
all of which constituted his home and 
the familiar surroundings of his former 
life from which he had borne himself, 
away. At times he felt inclined to tear 
his hair; throw himself on the floor, 
howl like a chained dog or cry out — to 
whom? he did not know. He is sink- 
ing under his burden and the town is 
always noisy, always clamorous; he calls 
to Christ; and there are no crosses on 

At New York. 5~> 

the roads; nobody answers or hears him; 
only the noise grows louder without and 
the girl crouches motionless on her 
straw. They sat there from morning 
until night without exchanging a word 
as if they were angry with each other. 
What could they talk about? The open 
wounds had better be left untouched. 

How was it none of their countrymen 
helped them. There are many Poles in 
ISTew York, but few of them who live 
about Chatham Square. 

In the second week after their arrival 
they met two Polish families, one from 
Silesia, the other from Posen, but they 
were suffering themselves. The Silesi- 
ans had lost two children, and with the 
last surviving one had slept under the 
arches of the bridges living by what 
they could pick up until they were talcen 
to the hospital. The second family was 
in a more unhappy condition because 
the father was a drunkard. Marisha 

56 For Daily Bread. 

had helped the woman as long as she 
could; now she needed help herself. 

Thej might have gone to the Polish 
Church in Hoboken, and the priest 
would have made their case known. 
But thej were ignorant of this, could 
not ask their way, and any money spent 
meant a step nearer to destitution. 

They sat these; he before the stove, 
she on the straw in the room. Though 
it was only noon, it grew darker, from 
the mist arising near the water. It was 
warm outside but they trembled with 
cold; at last Laurence gave up all hope 
of finding anything in the ashes. 

"Marisha," he said, "I cannot bear it 
any longer. I Avill go and see whether 
I can pick up any wood and maybe find 
something to eat." 

She said nothing in reply, and he went 
out. He had acquired some practice by 
this time and knew how to catch the 
driftwood which the tide brinirs near the 

At New York. 57 

docks. Many of those who have no 
money with which to buy coal do the 
same. Often he got kicked and driven 
away, but now and then he found pieces 
of wood or something to eat, besides the 
eagerness of his search made him for- 
get his hard fate and the ever present 
pain of homesickness. When he reach- 
ed the dock it was hmcheon time, the 
men had gone away, and the smaller 
boys, though they pelted him with mud 
and oyster shells could not drive him 
away. Pieces of wood were rocking on 
the water, one wave brought them near, 
another carried them back, but he man- 
aged to secure a good supply neverthe- 
less. Other light objects were floating 
in the distance out of his reach. The 
boys threw lines and drew them on the 
shore. He had no line, sO' he waited 
until the boys were gone, then looked 
over what they had left and picked out 
what he could eat. It never even 

68 For Daily Bread. 

crossed his mind that his daughter was 

Fortune befriended him this time. 
On his way back he saw a cart laden 
with potatoes stuck fast in the mud. 
Laurence put his shoulder to the wheel, 
and helped the driver toi get it out. It 
was heavy work, but he strained all his 
muscles, the horses gave a hard pull and 
the cart got loose. As it was heaped 
full a great many potatoes rolled off in 
the mud. The driver did not stop to 
pick them up, he thanked Laurence for 
his help, shouted to the horses, and 
drove on. 

Laurence knelt down and gathered 
them with trembling hands and his heart 
grew hopeful once more. Wending his 
way homewards, he murmured to him- 

"Praised be the Almighty, he has an- 
swered my prayers. The lassie will 
light the fire, there is wood enough, and 

At New York. 59 

potatoes to last us two days. The Lord 
is merciful! The room will look more 
cheerful, and poor Marisha will be glad. 
God is merciful!" 

Muttering thus, he went along, carry- 
ing the wood and feeling now and then 
whether the potatoes were safe. He 
had a great treasure, therefore he raised 
his eyes in gratitude to heaven, and 
again muttered: 

"I thought nothing remained for me 
but to steal some food — and here it fell 
from the cart like a gift from heaven. 
We were without food, now we have 
plenty. God be praised. Marisha will 
jump up from the straw when she hears 
the news." 

In the meanwhile Marisha had not 
changed her position. At times when 
Laurence brought wood, she had made 
the fire, brought water, and eaten what 
there was and then sat down again star- 
ing silently at the blaze. She, too, had 

60 For Daily Bread. 

endeavored to find work. They had 
taken her on in on© of the boarding 
houses toi sweep the rooms and wash 
the dishes; but as they could not make 
her understand and she often did the 
wrong thing from not understanding 
what they wanted, they sent her away 
after two days' trial. Now she sat the 
whole day in the house afraid to go into 
the street because drunken sailors often 
stopped her on the way. This enforced 
idleness made her still more unhappy. 
Homesickness was eating into her soul 
like rust into iron. She was far less 
happy than Laurence; for besides hun- 
ger and the hopelessness of their future, 
the thoughts of her lost love was always 
with her. Jan had promised and vowed : 
"Where thou goest I will go," but she 
had hoped to become a lady, and now 
everything was changed. 

He was head groom at the Manor and 
owned his own land; and she was now 

At New York. 61 

a poor, hungry outcast. Would lie still 
follow her, take her into his strong arms 
and say: "Poor, tired birdie, coine to 
me, or would he cast her off as a pauper's 
daughter?" The dogs would bark at 
her in Lipince, as they do at vagrants 
and beggars; and yet the wish of her 
soul was to be there once more; to live 
near him, even if he spumed her. 

When they had a fire and hunger was 
not so near, she saw pictures of past 
days in the glowing embers. She saw 
herself, sitting at the spinning wheel 
with other girls around her. Jan had 
crept up behind and whispered into her 
ear: "Marisha we will go the priest to- 
gether, for thou art very dear to me." 
And she had stopped her ears and 
thrown her apron over her head in con- 
fusion but listened to it all the same and 
felt so lighthearted and happy. Another 
time he had dragged her forth from the 
corner where she was hidden and asked 

62 For Daily Bread. 

her to dance with him and she had 
turned her head away and bade him go 
away she felt so ashamed and bashful. 
She had seen it all over and over again 
in the crackling flames through eyes 
dimmed with tears; now there was 
neither fire nor tears, both had burned 
out, but though her eyes were dry the 
tears were burning deep down in her 
heart. She felt very tired and very 
weak; but she suffered patiently and 
humbly, and there was an expression in 
the large blue eyes like a dumb animal 
that is tortured. 

Thus she looked now sitting on the 
straw. Somebdy moved the latch of 
the door; she thought it was her father 
and did not raise her head, then a rasp- 
ing voice called out: 

"Look here!" 

It was the owner of the tumble-down 
rookery they lived in; a mulatto' with 
a dirty, scowling face, and a chew of 
tobacco in his mouth. 

At l^eyv York. 63 

"When tlie girl saw who it was she 
felt frightened. They owed him the 
week's rent in advance and they had not 
a cent. She thought humble entreaty 
might prevail with the man. She ap- 
proached him, and gently kissed his 

"I have come for the dollar," he said. 

She understood the word dollar, and 
shook her head, and looking at him sup- 
plicatingly, she tried to make him un- 
derstand that they had no money left 
and had had no food for nearly two 

"The good God will reward you," she 
said in her own tongue, not knowing 
what to do or what to say. 

The mulatto only understood that no 
dollar was forthcoming, and taking her 
bundle with one hand and the girl with 
the other he pushed her into the street, 
throwing down her things beside her; 
then with the same stolidity, he opened 

64 For Daily Bread. 

tlie door of the barroom close by, and 
called out: 

"Hi, Paddy! there is a room for you!" 

"All right," responded a voice from 
within, "I will come to-night." 

Presently the mulatto disappeared 
within the dark entrance and Marisha 
remained standing alone in the street. 
She placed her bundles into a sheltered 
comer tO' keep them clean, and stood 
close by them, humble and patient. 

The passer&-by left her unmolested. 
It had been dark in the room but the 
street was still comparatively light and 
in that light the girl's face looked pale 
and warm as if she had risen from a 
sick-bed. Tlie^ light flaxen hair was the 
same, but the lips were pale; the eyes 
sunken in and encircled with bluish 
rings; the cheekbones very prominent. 
She looked like a faded blossom, or a 
girl in the last stages of consumption. 
The passers-by looked compassionate- 

At IS^ew York. 65 

ly at her. An old negi-ess asked her a 
few questions, but receiving no reply, 
went on hea* way feeling offended. 

In the meantime Laurence was on his 
way back, full of that kindly feeling 
which in very poor people is roused by 
a manifest sign of God's providence. 
He now had potatoes, he thought, and 
they would eat. The next day he would 
go out again to look after wagons; and 
after that, well, he did not think fur- 
ther ahead — he was too hungiy. When 
he saw the girl standing on the pave- 
ment he wondered and quickened his 

"Why art thou standing in the 

"The landlord has turned us out, 

"Turned us out?" 

He stared at her in a helpless way; 
the wood fell from his hands. This was 
too much for him. To turn them out 

66 For Daily Bread. 

when he had found wood and potatoes. 
He dashed his cap on the' pavement, 
turned round and round, stared wildly 
at the girl, and repeated: 

''Turned us out into the street?" 

Then he seemed to be going some- 
where but turned back and asked in a 
hoarse voice: 

"Why didst not ask him to be patient, 
stupid girl?" 

"I did ask him," whispered Marisha. 

"Didst embrace his knees and kiss his 

"I did. Daddy." 

Laurence again turned round and 
round like a trodden worm; everything 
seemed to grow dark before his eyes. 

"A curse upon thee, for a stupid 

The girl looked mournfully at him. 

"It was not my fault, Daddy." 

"Stop here and do not budge, I will 
go and ask him to let us, at least, roast 
our potatoes." 

At New York. 67 

He went inside. In a few moments 
voices were lieard, a stamping of feet, 
and Laurence came flying out into the 
street pushed eAadently hy a powerful 

For a moment he stood still, then 
turning to his daughter, he said ab- 
ruptly: ''Let us go." 

She stooped to pick up the bundles, 
which were very heavy, but Laurence 
did not offer any help or take any no- 
tice that the girl was too weak to carry 

They started off. Two such misera- 
ble being-s as the old man and his daugh- 
ter would have attracted the attention 
of any passer-by were they not so ac- 
costumed to such sights of destitution. 

The girl's breathing became more and 
more difficult, she tottered on her feet 
once, then twice, and at last, said en- 
treateningly : 

''Daddy! take the bundles, I cannot 
carry them any longer." 

68 For Daily Bread. 

"Throw them away, then." 
"But the things will be needed." 
"They will not be needed." 
Suddenly, seeing that she hesitated, 
he exclaimed fiercely: 

"Throw them down, or I will beat 

This time, the girl frighte^ned by her 
father's voice and fierce eyes, obeyed, 
and he went on muttering to himself: 

"It is fate, and there is nothing else 

Then he became silent, but his eyes 
gleamed savagely. They crossed the 
little streets, one dirtier than the other, 
until they arrived near the dock, pass- 
ing a building with the inscription: 
"Sailors' Asylum." Marisha sat down 
on a pile of lumber; because her feet 
would carry her no longer and Lau- 
rence sat beside her. The dock was 
teeming with life and bustle. The 
mist had cleared up and the wann sun- 

At New York. 69 

shine fell upon the two outcasts. From 
the water came a crisp breeze; there was 
light and color and ever varying motion 
among the big ships which with their 
canvass flnttering in the wind sailed into 
the harbor. Other steamers churning 
the water were leaving it. 

They were going home, towards Li- 
pince, thought Marisha, mournfully, 
where they had left their happiness and 
peace. How was it the Lord had for- 
saken them, what had they done to de- 
serve such punishment? It was in His 
power to bring them back; so many 
ships were going out, and they were 
left behind among strangers. 

The tired girl's thoughts were con- 
tinually hovering about the village. 

"Does he still think of me," she whis- 
pered to herself, "does he remember." 

She remembers, because only happi- 
ness makes us forget, but solitude and 
sorrow nukes us cling round the dear 

70 For Daily Bread. 

ones like the tendrils of the ivy round 
the oak. Maybe he had forgotten the 
old love and taken up with a new one? 
Was it possible he could still think of 
a poor lass who would bring him noth- 
ing but her garland of rue, who had no 
possessions, and whom only death alone 
would WOO' now. 

As she was ill, hunger did not trou- 
ble her, but she felt very tired and 
sleepy; she snut her eyes and the pale 
face sank lower on her breast. She 
dreamed she was wandering over preci- 
pices and deep ravines like Kasia in the 
ballad, who fell into the Dunajelz river; 
she distinctly heard the lines of the 

" Jan saw her peril from the cliff above 
And threw a silken cord towards his love. 
The cord did not reach — too short by a bit 
And Kasia tied her long tresses to it." 

Here she started; it seemed to her she 
had no tresses and was falling into space. 

At New York. 71 

The dream vanished. It was not Jan 
who sat beside her, but Laurence, her 
father. There was nO' river, only the 
dock with its forest of masts, and fun- 
nels. Some ships were leaving the pier, 
and thence came the singing which had 
mingled with her dream. A quiet, 
balmy, spring evening spread a ruddy 
glow on sky and water. The river was 
without a ripple and e'vevj ship and 
every pile stood clearly reflected in the 
water. There seemed to be peace and 
happiness spread everywhere^ — but be- 
yond the reach of those two waifs; the 
workmen were beginning to return to- 
wards their homes, these two only had 
nowhere to go. 

Hunger with its iron claws began to 
gnaw at Laurence's vitals. The peasant 
sat there in gloomy silence, a fierce re- 
solve depicted on his face. If anybody 
had looked at him, he would have been 
frightened at that despairingly quiet 

72 For Daily Bread. 

face with the expression of a rapacious 
animal. He had not opened his lips to 
the girl since he bade her throw down 
the bundles; now he said in a strange 

"Come, Marisha." 

"Where are we going?" 

"To the end of the pier, near the 
water. We will lie down on the boards 
and sleep." 

Thej crossed the long, winding pier 
until they reached the covered platform 
where during the day the workmen had 
been busy, but there was nobody there 

When they reached the furthest end 
Laurence said: 

"We will lie down here." 

Marisha sunk down at once, and in 
spite of the swarming mosquitoes, fell 
into a heavy sleep. 

Suddenly in the depth of night the 
voice of Laurence awakened her. 

At :N'ew York. 73 

"Marisha, get up!" 

There was something in the tone of 
his voice which roused her instantly. 

"What is it, Daddy?" 

In the midst of the stilhiess the old 
man's voice sounded hollow and ten-i- 
bly quiet. 

"Child! never more shalt thou suffer 
from hunger. Thou shalt not beg thy 
bread at the stranger's door nor sleep 
under the open sky. People have aban- 
doned us. God has forsaken us. There 
is nothing for us but death. The water 
is deep and thou wilt not suffer much." 

She could not see his face in the dark- 
ness, but her eyes dilated with terror. 

"I will drown thee, poor lassie, and 
then drown myself," he continued in 
that same dull, even voice. "There is 
neither help nor mercy for us. To- 
morrow thou wilt not be hungry; to- 
morrow thou wilt be happier than to- 

74 For Daily Bread. 

"Oh, no." she did not wish to die; 
she was only eighteen and clung to life 
and was afraid of death. Her very soul 
recoiled from the thought that her body 
should lie at the bottom of the sea 
among fishes and reptiles. A great ter- 
ror and aversion shook her whole frame, 
and her own father speaking thus in the 
darkness, seemed an evil spirit. 

Both his hands were resting on her 
thin shoulders, and still in that same 
unnaturally quiet voice, he went on: 

"If thou shoutest nobody will hear it; 
I have only to push thee, and it is all 

"I will not die, Daddy, I will not," 
cried out Marisha. "Have you no fear 
of God? Daddy, my own Daddy, have 
mercy on me! Did I ever complain of 
anything, did I not patiently suffer cold 
and hunger with you?" 

His breath came quicker and quicker 
and his hands held her as in a vice; she 
still prayed to him despairingly. 

At New York. 75 

"Have mercy, I am your child. Poor 
and weak, and not long to live; but I 
will not die, I am afraid." 

She clutched his garments and kissed 
the hands that tried to push her into 
the dark space. But all this seemed to 
excite the old man still more. His un- 
natural quietness gave way to frenzy 
and he began to snort and pant like a 
wild beast. 

The night was dark and still, nobody 
could hear them because they were at 
that part of the pier where even in the , 
daytime none except workmen ever 

''Help! help!" screamed Marisha. 

He dragged her violently with one 
hand to the brink, while beating her on 
the head with the other to smother her 

But the cries did not rouse any echo; 
a dog only barked in the distance. The 
girl was growing faint; the piece of gar- 

76 For Daily Bread. 

ment bhe clutclaed unconsciously remain- 
ed in her hand and Marisha was sensible 
she was falling. 

In her fall she grasped at a beam and 
remained hanging over the water. 

The peasant leaned over, and horrible 
tO' say, tried to unloosen her hands. 

At this moment like a flash of light- 
ning she saw before her the short Past: 
Lipince, the well with the long crane, 
then the voyage, the terrible storm, 
when they said the litany together, and 
their miserable life at New York. But 
what is this she sees: A great ship is 
coming towards her, nearer and nearer, 
there is a great crowd of people and 
among them stands Jan with out- 
stretched arms and above the ship the 
Holy Virgin, smiling at her in heavenly 
glory. Oh, Holy Mother! Jan, my 
Jan I Daddy!" she cries out, 'there is 
the Mother of God! The Holy Virgin!" 

A moment more and the same hands 

At I^ew York. 77 

that pushed her ruthlessly over the brink 
grasp her arms and with superhuman 
strength drag her upon the pier. Again 
she feels the boards under her feet, two 
anns infold her, they are not those of 
the excutioner, but of the loving father, 
and her head sinks on his breast. 

When she recovered from her swoon 
she saw herself lying quietly near her 
father; though it was dark, she could 
see he was lying on his face, both arms 
spread out in the form of a. cross, and 
his whole frame shaking with convul- 
sive sobs: "Marisha," he said in broken 
tones. "Marisha, my child, forgive." 

The girl searched in the dark for his 
hand and covered it with kisses. 

"Daddy, may the Lord Jesus forgive 
you, as I do." 

From a silvery cloud which shone on 
the horizon came out the bright moon, 
^nd oh, wonder! Marisha saw crowds of 
silveivwinged angels, gliding along the 

78 For Daily Bread. 

moonbeams towards her; they fanned 
her face, singing in sweet, childish 
voices : 

" Peace be with thee, poor tired, child 1 
Storm-tossed, battered birdie, peace 
be with thee ! little field-flower, so 
patient and quiet, rest in peace I" 

Singing thus they scattered lilies and 
rose leaves over her and little silver bells 
chimed in: 

" Kest, poor girl ! sleep — sleep in peace." 

And she felt well, bright and peace- 
ful and fell off to sleep. 

The night faded and early dawn whit- 
ened the water. Masts and funnels 
seemed to emerge from the shadow and 
come nearer. Laurence knelt down 
bending over his daughter. 

He thought she was dead. Her 
slender form was motionless; her face 
was very pale, and the closed eyes were 
surrounded by a bluish tint. He shook 

At New York. 79 

her arm but she neither moved nor 
opened her eyes. Laurence felt as if 
he, too, were dying; but putting his 
hand close to her mouth he felt the 
faintest flutter of a breath. Her heart 
was beating though very feebly, and he 
thought it might stop any moment. If 
there came a warm sun from out of the 
morning mist she may wake up, he 

The seagulls circled overhead as if 
they too were taking an interest in this 
himian tragedy. The mist gradually 
dissolved under the breath of a westerly 
wind which brought with it warmth and 

Then rose the sun. The rays fell first 
on the top of the scaffolding at the end 
of the pier, then going lower touched 
Marisha's lifeless face. With the light 
around her the sweet patient face sur- 
rounded by the flaxen hair which had 
become unloosened in the struggle look- 

80 For Daily Bread. 

ed like that of a saint or an angel; for 
Marisha thought her sufferings and pa- 
tient endurance had almost reached the 
martyr's palm. 

A rosy, delightful day rose from the 
water, the sun gTew more powerful and 
a gentle wind caressed the maiden's face. 
The seagulls whirled and circled over- 
head screaming as if they wanted to 
awaken her. Laurence took off his long 
coat and spread it over his daughter's 

Gradually the bluish tint vanished 
from her face and the anxiously watch- 
ing father saw a faint touch of color 
mounting to the cheeks, she smiled once, 
and twice, at last opened her eyes. 

Then the old man knelt do^vn on the 
planks, raised his eyes to heaven, and 
heavy tears ran down his furrowed face. 

He felt now that from henceforth the 
child was as the apple of his eye, the 
soul of his soul, a thing holy and be- 
loved above everything: on earth. 

At Xew York. 81 

Marisha not only woke np but she felt 
better and more refreshed than she had 
done for some time past. The pure air 
of the harbor had filled her lungs poi- 
soned by the foul vapor of her narrow 
lodgings. She had indeed come back 
to life again, for she sat up and called 

"Daddy! I am very hungTy." 

"Come, little daughter," said the old 
man, "we will go to the other end of 
the pier and find something to eat." 

She rose without much effort, and fol- 
lowed him. This day was evidently to 
be a turning point in their fortunes for 
scarcely had they gone a few steps when 
they saw lying between two beams a red 
handkerchief tied up in a bundle, which 
on examination was found to contain 
some bread and meat, and a piece of 
pudding. Who had put it there? A 
laborer most likely who had eaten only 
a portion of his lunch yesterday. They 

82 For Daily Bread. 

often do. Lavirence and Marisha ex- 
plained it in their own simple way. 
Who had put it there? He, who re- 
members and feeds the sparrows on the 
roof and the flowers in the field. 


They said a short prayer and ate what 
they found; it was not Yercjf much for 
two hungry people, but they felt re- 
freshed and strengthened, and went 
along the water front towards the larger 
docks. Reaching the Emigrant Office, 
they turned into Water street. With a 
rest now and then it took them several 
hours to accomplish the journey. Why 
they went in this particular direction 
they did not know themselves, but Ma- 
risha fancied going that way. On their 
way they met a number of carts and 
wagons going towards the water front. 
Water street was full of life and motion. 
People were coming in all directions 
from their dwellings, and hurrying to 

At New York. 83 

their offices, and places of business. In 
one of the open doors stood a grey-haired 
gentleman, with long moustaches, with 
a young lad by his side. He stepped 
out, looked at the two wanderers, his 
moustaches twitched, and an expression 
of deep astonishment appeared on his 
face; he came a little nearer, looked 
again, and then smiled. 

A human being smiling at them in 
New York was something so wonderful, 
nay miraculous, that both Laurence and 
his daughter were astonished. 

The old gentleman approached them, 
and addressed them in their own tongue : 

''Where do you come from, good peo- 

If a thunderbolt had fallen from the 
pure sky they would not have been more 
taken aback. Laurence grew as wdiite 
as a sheet and reeled on his feet; una- 
able to believe his ears. Marisha re- 
covered first, and falling to the old 

84 For Daily Bread. 

man's knees, which she embraced, ex- 

"We come from Posen, Gracious 

"And what are you doing here?" 

"Nothing, gracious Pan, but suffering 
hunger and misery." Her voice failed, 
and Laurence having shaken off his be- 
wilderment, fell at the old gentleman's 
feet, clutched at the lappels of his coat, 
kissed them raptuously and thought he 
clutched at a bit of heaven. • 

It's our own Pan, our master," he 
gasped out. "He will not let us die 
of hunger, he will protect us and save 
us from evil." 

The young lad who was with the 
elderly man opened his eyes in undis- 
guised astonishment; people began to 
crowd around them to see one man 
kneeling before another, kissing his feet, 
a thing unheard of in America. Tlie 
gentleman grew red, and evidently an- 

At ^^ew York. 85 

gry, and tnreed sharply on the by- 

"What are you staring at? It's none 
of your business," and theu turning to 
Laurence and Marisha, he said: 

"We cannot stand here in the street, 
come with me.*" 

They followed him to the nearest res- 
taurant, and there he went with them 
into a private room. Here the two 
peasants again begun to embrace his 
knees but he waived them off and mut- 
tered in grumpy tones: 

"There, there, have done with your 
foolishness! We come from the same 
country, and are children of the same 

The smoke of his cigar seemed to 
have got into his eyes because he rubbed 
them vigorously with his fist, then asked: 

"Are you hungry?" 

"We have eaten nothing for two days, 

86 For Daily Bread. 

but what we found to-day near the 

"William," said he addressing the lad, 
"order some lunch to be brought in 
here." Then he asked again: 

"Where do you live?" 

"ISTowhere, illustrious Pan." 

"Where did you sleep?" 

"On the pier." 

"Did you get turned out of your lodg- 

"We did." 

"Have you no things, nothing but 
what you stand in?" 

"We have not." 

"And no money?" 


"And what do you intend doing?'' 

"We do not know." 

The old gentleman put further ques- 
tions in a sharp, quick tone; then sud- 
denly turning towards Marisha, he said 
in a gentle voice: 

At New York. 87 

"How old you, child?" 

"I shall be eighteen next Michaelmas, 
please. Sir." 

"And you have suffered a great deal?" 

Instead of answering, Marisha bent 
humbly down to his knees; upon which 
the old gentleman took tO' rubbing his 
eyes again — the smoke evidently an- 
noyed him. 

A dish of hot meat and some beer 
was brought in. He told them tO' sit 
down and eat, at which they demurred, 
saying they dared not do so in his pres- 
ence. He became angiy again, and 
called them a couple of fools, but in 
spite of all his impatient manner he 
seemed to them a very angel from 

His face beamed with satisfaction 
when he saw them making a hearty 
meal. After they had finished he asked 
them to tell him how they had come 
here and all that had happened to them. 

88 For Dailj Bread. 

Laurence told him everytliing as if he 
had been in the confessional, he had 
tried to drown his child; the old gen- 
tleman jumped up in a terrible rage, 
and fairly shouted: 

"I could flay you alive for that." 
Then turning to Marisha, he said: 
"Come here, child." 
When she approached he took her 
head in both his hands and kissed her 
on the forehead. 

After a short and thoughtful pause 
he said: 

"You have undergone great suffering 
and privation. Nevertheless it is a good 
country for those who know how to shift 
for themselves." 

Laurence opened his eyes in silent 
amazement: this good and wise gentle- 
man called America a good countr\^ 

"Yes, you blockhead," he said, seeing 
Laurence's astonishment, "it is a crood 
country. I came here with empty pock- 

At New York. 89 

ets and have now a good income. But 
yon peasants have no business to come 
out here, you ought to stick to your land, 
if you leava the country who is to re- 
main there. You cannot do much here. 
It is easy enough to come but very diffi- 
cult to get home again." 

He remained silent a few minutes, 
and then said, as if tO' himself: "It's 
forty years since I came here, time al- 
most to have forgotten the old home; 
but the longing for it comes back now 
and then. William must go there 
and get acquainted with his father's 

"This is my son," he said, pointing 
to the lad. 

"William you will bring me from 
thence a handful of soil to put under my 
head in the coffin." 

"Yes, father," replied the lad, in Eng- 

"And upon the breast, William, upon 
the breast." 

90 For Daily Bread. 

"Yes, father." 

The smoke of the cigar seemed to 
have got into his eyes again, so that they 
were suffused with tears. He shook 
himself and said gruffly: 

"The rascal understands Polish well 
enough, but prefers to speak English. 
Such is fate. Where the sapling is 
transplanted there it grows. "William, 
go and tell your sister that we have 
guests for dinner and for the night." 

The lad jumped up quickly, and went 
out to do his bidding. 

The old gentleman sat silent e^ddently 
lost in meditation, then spoke as if to 

"If I were to send them home it would 
cost a great deal, and they have nothing 
to go back to. Sold their property and 
all their sticks, nothing but a beggar's 
life to await them there. To send the 
girl into service, the Lord knows what 
might become of her. Since they are 

At New York. 91 

here they might as well try to work. 
I will send them to a settlement, the 
girl will get married at once. They will 
earn some money, and can go back if 
they wish to, and take the old man with 

Then he turned to Laurence: 

"Did you hear about our settlements 

"No, gracious Pan, I have heard noth- 

"Oh, people, how can you come here 
not knowing where to turn; no wonder 
you cam© near perishing miserably. In 
Chicago there are twenty thousand like 
you; in Milwaukee as many; in Detroit 
and Buffalo a great number. They work 
mostly in factories, but the peasant loves 
the soil best. I might send you to Ra- 
dom, in Illinois, h'm! but land is more 
difficult to obtain there. They are build- 
ing a new Posen in the prairies at Ne- 
braska, but that is too far, and the rail- 

92 For Daily Bread. 

road fare is too much. St. Mary's in 
Texas is also too far. Barovina would 
be the best, especially, as I can get you 
free passes, and what money I give you, 
you can keep for other purposes. 

He thought again, deeply. 

"Listen to me, old man," he said sud- 
denly. "They are opening a new settle- 
ment called Borovina, in Arkansas. It 
is a beautiful country, good climate and 
you can obtain one hundred and sixty 
acres, or more, of good woodland by 
making a. small payment tO' the railway 
company. Do you understand^ I will 
give you some money to start with, be- 
sides the railway tickets ; these will take 
you to Little Rock, and from there you 
go by wagon. You will find many 
others therei bound for the settlement. 
I shall provide you with letters of in- 
troduction. I will do for you what I 
can, because we are children of the same 
mother, but I am more sorry for your 

At New York. 93 

daiigliter than for you. Do you under- 
stand?" Then his voice grew soft and 

"Now listen, child," he said to Ma- 
risha," take my card, and do not lose 
it. If ever you are in need of a friend, 
come straight to me and I will protect 
you. If I should not be alive, William 
will help you. Do not lose the address, 
and now, come with me." 

On the way he bought for them a 
change of clothes and some linen, and 
then took them to his house. They 
were all good people there. William 
and his sister Jenny made them as wel- 
come as if they had been relatives. 
William treated Marisha as if she were 
a lady, to the great confusion of the 
simple girl. In the evening some young 
girls, prettily dressed, with fringes on 
their foreheads came to see Jenny. They 
took Marisha among them, wondered at pale face and beautiful flaxen hair 

94 For Daily Bread. 

and laughed at lier timid ways and her 
wanting to kiss their hands. The mas- 
ter of the house walked to and fro among 
them, shook his white head. Sometimes 
muttering to himself, addressing the 
company either in Polish or English ; he 
talked about the far off country to Ma- 
risha and Laurence, dwelt upon stories 
of the past, and the smoke of his cigar 
seemed to trouble his eyes for he wiped 
them frequently. 

When they retired for the night, Ma- 
risha was deeply moved, seeing that 
Jenny with her own hands prepared the 
bed she, Marisha was to sleep upon. Oh, 
how good they were! But it was not 
astonishing after all, did not the gen- 
tleman come from the same part of the 
country ? 

The third day Laurence and his 
daughter were on their way to Little 
Rock. The peasant felt his one hun- 
dred dollars in his pocket, and his past 

At New York. 95 

sufferings seemed to liim a dream; and 
this was real life at last. Marisha pon- 
dered over tlie wonderful ways of Provi- 
dence and tliought that He who had 
saved them from such misery would fur- 
ther protect them, bring Jan out to her, 
and allow them to go back to Lipince. 
Towns and farms seemed to fly past 
.them. How different it was from New 
York. There were fields and woods as 
far as the eye could see, houses sur- 
rounded by trees, large tracts of waving 
cornfields, just as it was at home. At 
the sight of this Laurence's chest ex- 
panded and he felt inclined to shout 
and sing for joy. On the meadows 
herds of cattle and sheep were grazing; 
on the verge of the wood, men were 
busy plying their axes. The train went 
further and further, and the country 
gradually became less settled. The 
famis disappeared and the large, soli- 
tary prairie met their eyes. The w^ind 

96 For Daily Bread. 

moved the tall grasses and wild flowers. 
Here and there like a golden ribbon 
twisted in and out, appeared an aban- 
doned car track now covered with yel- 
low flowers. The feathery heads of 
grasses, mullein, and thistles seemed to 
nod in welcome to the wanderers. 
Hawks hung motionless in mid air look- 
ing down on the prairie. The train 
rushed on as if it wanted to follow the 
prairie where it lost itself in the distant 

From the windows flocks of hares and 
prairie dogs could be seen; sometimes 
the antlered head of a deer was seen 
above the grasses. Nowhere, either 
towns, churches, farms, or houses; only 
stations between the stations, not a liv- 
ing soul. Laurence looked and looked 
and could not understand how it was so 
much good soil remained uncultivated. 

A day and a night passedTin that way. 
In the morning they found themselvea 

At New York. 97 

in the woods. The thick trees with 
vines and creepers twisted across their 
branches, made a green, almost impene- 
trable wall on either side. Strange 
birds were now and then flitting in and 
out the luxuriant vegetation. Laurence 
and Marisha. fancied they saw among 
the thicket strange riders with feathered 
headgear and faces like burnished cop- 
per. Seeing these vast prairies and in 
penetrable Avoods in succession passing 
before their eyes, Laurence would now 
and then ejaculate: 


"Yes, Daddy." 

"Isn't it all wonderful?" 

They at last crossed a river which 
seemed to them immense. Later on 
they were told it was the Mississippi; 
and late at night they arrived at Little 

Here they were to ask their way to 

98 For Daily Bread. 

We will leave them here. The sec- 
ond part of their wanderings is finished. 
The third will take place amid the noise 
of the axe, and the heavy work of the 
settlement. Whether there is to be less 
suffering, fewer tears, and less ill-fate, 
time will show. 


Wtat was Borovina. A settlement 
in embryo. The name had been fixed 
npon, that was the main thing; as a 
name implies an existing fact and in- 
spires confidence. Polish and American 
ncAvspapers published in ISTew York, 
Chicago, Buffalo, Detroit, Denver, and 
Milwaukee, in fact wherever the Polish 
tongue was heard, proclaimed urhi et 
orhi generally, and especially to the 
Polish settlers, that if they wished to 
enjoy good health, to become rich, and 
live on the fat of the land, and, maybe 
afterwards, save their souls, they should 
buy farms in that earthly paradise, Bo- 
rovina. These announcements further 
stated that Arkansas, where the new 

settlement was to start into life, was as 

100 For Daily Bread. 

jet sparsely settled, althoiigli the cli- 
mate was most salubrious. It was true 
that the City of Memphis, situated on 
the opposite shore of the Mississippi, was 
a very hotbed of yellow fever; but it 
was a well-known fact that fever could 
not cross a broad river like the Missis- 
sippi ; besides the Choctaws would make 
short work of it, as the fever trembles 
at the sight of a redskin. In conse- 
quence of these combinations the set- 
tlers of Borovina would have the fever 
district on the East, redskins on the 
West, they themselves living in a per- 
fectly neutral zone. 

In a few hundred years Borovina 
would boast of a vast population and the 
ground which now sold for a dollar and 
a half an acre would fetch a thousand 
dollars a square yard for building pur- 

To those who were alarmed at the 
proximity of Choctaws the announce- 

The New Settlement. 101 

ment stated that these noble savages 
were full of friendly feeling towards 
their white neighbors, especially if they 
were Poles and that their mutual rela- 
tions would be of the friendliest; besides 
railways, and telegraph poles were sure 
to frighten them away, and their disap- 
pearance would be only a question of 

The ground had been acquired by a 
railway company which would assure 
the settlers with an outlet for their pro- 
duce and easy communication with the 
world. The announcements neglected 
to state the fact that the line was only 
a projected one, and was to be erected 
at some future time from the sale of the 
land given by the government to the 
railway company. To Borovina it made 
this little difference, that instead of be- 
ing on a direct line it was situated in 
a howling wilderness that could only be 
reached by wagons, and with great diffi- 

102 For Daily Bread. 

This was a temporary inconvenience, 
a little disappointing for the settlers it 
is true, but one which would disappear 
in time as soon as the line was opened. 
Besides advertisements are not to be 
taken for gos2>el truth, and as plants 
transplanted to America soil grow into 
luxuriant leafage at the expense of its 
fruit, so also American advertisements 
spring up full blown and it is difficult 
to pick out the grain of truth from the 
rhetorical chaff. Putting aside how- 
ever the humbug and puffing up of the 
settlement one might think it would be 
no worse than thousands of others whose 
beginning was the same and which had 
been praised with no less exaggeration. 

The conditions from many points of 
view seemed favorable, therefore a great 
many people, spread over the States, 
from the great lakes to Florida, and 
from the Atlantic to the shores of Cali- 
fornia, applied for farms. Poles from 

The New Se^lement. 103 

Prussia, Poles from Galicia, Masurs 
from the plains of Warsaw, all those 
that worked in the factories of Chicago 
and Milwaukee and had sighed in vain 
for the life which is the peasant's in- 
heritance snatched eagerly at the oppor- 
tunity to get back from smoke begrimed 
cities tO' the plough. Those who felt too 
hot at St. Mary's in Texas, too cold in 
Minnesota, too damp in Detroit or hun- 
gry at Radom, in Illinois were eager 
for a change and a few hundred people 
with a fair sprinkling of women and 
children started for Arkansas. They 
were not deterred by the tales of the 
lawlessness of the countiy infested with 
Indians, outlaws hiding from justice, 
rough squatters who despite the govern- 
ment's prohibition were cutting down 
timber along the Red River, and the 
terrible fights that were going on be^ 
tween the white and Indian buffalo 
huntere. The Masiir, if he has his 

104 For Daily Bread. 

knotty stick and feels another brother 
Masur at his back, is not afraid of any- 
thing. They are clannish these Masurs 
from the Warsaw plains; like to be 
within reach of each other; and work 
or fight together shoulder to shoulder. 

The gathering point for Borovina was 
the town of Little Rock. From Little 
Rock to Clarksville, the nearest settle- 
ment to Borovina, is a great distance; 
and their way lay through a wild and 
desolate country, heavy woods, and 
swollen rivers. The few who had 
started out alone were never heard of 
again, but the main body arrived with- 
out mishap and were now camping out 
in the woods. 

To say the truth they had been very 
much disappointed when they arrived 
on the spot. Expecting arable land and 
woods they had found nothing but a 
thick almost impenetrable forest which 
had to be cleared before the plough 

The New Settlement. 105 

could be used. Black oaks, redwood, 
Cottonwood, and gloomy hickory trees, 
with vines and creepers as thick as cables 
twisting in and out, and chapparal un- 
derneath formed a solid green wall. 
Those who penetrated further did not 
see the sky above. They had to feel 
their way in the surrounding gloom and 
were in danger of losing their way and 
perishing in the wilderness. 

One and another of the Masur lads 
looked at their fists, then at the huge 
trees,; several yards in circumference, 
and felt disheartened. It is well to 
have plenty of timber wherewith to 
build houses but to clear hundreds of 
acres before the plough could be used 
was a work of years. 

But there was nothing else to be done; 
therefore on the second day after their 
arrival, some grasped the axe, crossed 
themselves, spat on their hands, and with 
a groan fell to work and from that time 

106 For Daily Bread. 

on the sound of the axe often accom- 
panied by songs re-echoed in the woods 
of Arkansas. 

The camp had been erected on a 
clearing near the river on the brink of 
which the future settlement was to be 
erected, with a school and church in the 
middle, the houses and cabins around 
them in a large square. In the mean- 
while there stood the wagons forming 
a triangle to be used as a fortress in case 
of attack. Beyond the wagons grazed 
the mules, horses, cows, oxen and sheep 
under the' care of young men armed 
with rifles. The women slept in the 
wagons and the men round the camp 

During the day only women and 
children stayed in the camp, the men 
being busy in the woods. At night 
wild beasts — jaguars, wolves and coy- 
otes came from the thicket. The ter- 
rible grizzly bears which are less afraid 

The :N'ew Cettlement. 107 

of fire came now and then close to the 
wagons, consequently shots were often 
heard in the dead of night, and shouts: 
"Shoot straight at the beast." The men 
who came from the wilder part of Texas 
were mostly skilled hunters and pro- 
vided themselves and their families with 
fresh meat from antelopes, stags, and 
buffalos, which were abundant in the 
spring when these animals draw towards 
the north. The other settlers lived on 
provisions brought with them from Lit- 
tle Rock: Indian meal and salt pork; 
beside this they killed sheep, of which 
nearly every family had brought a num- 

In the evenings they congregated 
round the blazing camp fire, and the 
young people would dance instead of 
lying down to sleep. A settler who had 
brought his violin played the national 
dances: Obertas, Masur, and Krakoviak, 
and when the sound of the violin lost 

108 For Daily Bread. 

itself among tlie rustling of the forest, 
others helped it out by jingling tin 
plat-es. Time passed quickly enough 
amid hard work, all the harder because 
it was done without a system. The first 
thing was to build some kind of shelter, 
and in a short time a few log cabins, 
covered with bark were dotted about on 
the green sward. Cottonwood is easy 
to work but they had to go a long dis- 
tance for it. Others built temporary- 
dwellings from the canvass stripped 
from their wagons. Some younger men 
tired of felling trees began using the 
plough in places where the trees had 
been cleared and for the first time the 
shouts of the ploughmen were heard in 
the wilds of Arkansas. 

Taken altogether there was such a 
vast amount of work to be done, that 
the settlers did not know where to put 
their hands to first; whether to build 
cabins, clear the forest or go hunting 

The Xew Settlement 109 

for supplies of venison. One thing was 
clear from the beginning: the settlers' 
agent had bought the land from the 
company on faith, ^vithout taking the 
trouble to examine it, Othenvise he 
could as easily have acquired a tract of 
prairie land only partially wooded. He 
and the railway agent had come to the 
spot in order to survey the land and 
parcel out the different claims, but see- 
ing the state of things they remained 
two days, quarelled, and then under pre- 
text of going for the surveying tools 
went back to Clarksville and never 
showed themselves at the settlement 

It soon leaked out that some of the 
settlers had paid a great deal more than 
others, and what was worse nobody knew 
where his allotment lay or how to sun^ey 
it if they could locate it. The settlers 
had no leader or manager or any one 
who was capable of adjusting their differ- 

110 For Daily Bread. 

Germans no donbt would have con- 
centrated their united strength in clear- 
ing the woodsj building cabins, and after 
that, parcel out the claims. But each 
Masur wanted to work at once upon his 
own property, build his cabin, and pre- 
pare his own soil. Every one wanted 
land close to the river where the trees 
were fewer and water nearest. Conten- 
tions arose which grew into quarrels and 
free fights from the day when a certain 
Mr. Griinmanski made his appearance. 
This gentleman, who seemed to have 
dropped from the clouds, came from 
Cincinnati, where the Germans settled; 
there he was known as plain Griinman, 
but he added the "ski" to his honest 
German name for business purposes. 

His wagon had a high canvass roof 
where on either side in big black letters 
stood the name: "Saloon," and under- 
neath in smaller type: Brandy, Whisky, 
Gin. How he had managed to cross 

The New Settlement. Ill 

the wild, lawless region between Clarks- 
ville and Borovina witliout having been 
attasked by thieves or scalped by In- 
dians (who in small detachments often 
roam about the very neighborhood of 
Clarksville) was his secret; enough that 
the first day he showed himself at the 
settlement he did a good business. On 
that vevy same day the settlei^ began 
to quarrel. To their various differences 
about claims, implements, or places near 
the fire, came other more trifling 
grounds for disagreeing. The men be- 
came affected with pro^'incial patriot- 
ism. Those that came from the Xorih- 
ern States, praised their coimtry at the 
expense of those from the South, Loud 
and angiy voices in that American-Po- 
lish idiom where their own mother 
tongue had adopted local expressions, 
were heard in the camp. 

Quarrels became more virulent. It 
came to fights where those coming from 

112 For Daily Bread. 

the same town or settlement stood by 
each other against those who came from 
other parts. It was a bad lookout for 
the little community who verily were 
like a flock of sheep without a shep- 
herd. But gradually, and by degrees, 
the more eixperienced and wiser mem- 
bers of the party acquired a certain in- 
fluence and authority and tried to main- 
tain order. In moments of danger their 
common instinct of preservation made 
them forget private rancor. Once when 
a. party of Indians had captured some 
dozen of their sheep, the lads moved 
by one thought rushed after them, re- 
covered their property, and killed one 
of the Indians. That day the greatest 
harmony reigned in the camp, but the 
next day saw them wrangling again at 
the clearings. There was also peace 
and harmony when the musician began 
to play their national songs, the melo- 
dies they had heard under the thatched. 

The New Settlement. 113 

roofs at home. All conversation ceased, 
no sound was heard but the voice of the 
violin which spoke to them of the far 
off country, the soughing of the wind 
in the forest trees, and the crackling of 
the camp fire. With earnest, thought- 
ful faces, they stood around the musi- 
cian, listening still, though the moon 
had already risen high above the trees. 
But with the exception of these peaceful 
intervals the common bonds of brother- 
hood were getting weaker every day. 
This small community, thrown upon 
their own resources without a leader, 
did not know how to shift for itself. 

Among the settlers we find our for- 
mer friends Laurence Toporek and his 
daughter Marisha, who shared the life 
of the settlers. At the beginning it 
seeme-d tO' tliem a welcome change from 
the hard pavements of New York to the 
woods of Arkansas. There they had 
nothing they could call their ov^ti; here 

114 For Daily Bread. 

they had their own wagon, some im- 
plements and live stock bought at 
Clarksville. Homesickness tormented 
them less among their own people, and 
the heavy work did not permit them to 
think much beyond of the day. The 
old man was cutting trees from mom- 
ing till night, and preparing timber for 
his cabin. Marisha was busy washing 
clothes, lighting fires, and preparing 
their meals. The exercise and open 
air life had effaced all traces of her ill- 
ness, and her formerly pale face ex- 
posed now to the hot winds blowang 
from Texas was tinged with a golden 
brown. The lads from Saint Antonio 
and the Lakes, who on the slightest 
provocation squared their fists at each 
other, agreed in one thing: that Ma- 
risha's eyes looking out from under her 
silky hair were like com flowers in a 
wheat field, and she the prettiest girl 
human eyes had ever beheld. 

The New Settlement. 115 

Laurence derived much benefit from 
his daiigh]ter's beauty. He chose for 
himself the best piece of land and no- 
body said him nay because all the lads 
were on his side. Many of them helped 
him to prepare the timber and stack it, 
and the old man who was shrewd and 
saw what they were aiming at, from 
time to time threw out a hint: 

"My little daughter," he said, "is like 
a lily of the fields, a very jewel of a 
girl. Some day I will choose a husband 
for her from among the lads that help 
me most and please me best; but he 
must be a decent lad ];)ecause she comes 
from a decent family that owned their 
own lands in the old country. 

Everyone who helped him thought 
he was furthering his suit. Consequent- 
ly Laurence was better off than many 
others and everything would have been 
well with him had there been any future 
for the settlement. 

116 Tor Daily Bread. 

But things grew worse instead of bet- 
ter. The axe still sounded in the for- 
est and here and there rose the yellow 
logs of a cabin but it was but as a drop 
of water in the ocean. The dark, im- 
penetrable wall of the forest still loomed 
up before them showing scarcely any 
sign of being broken. 

Tliose who had penetrated a little 
further into the thicket, reported that 
the forest had no limit, that awful 
swamps and bayous, and still, stagnant 
waters, full of strange creatures had im- 
peded their march, they had heard the 
hissing of the serpents and strange 
voices calling out in warning: "Do not 
go further." Uncanny shrubs stretch- 
ing out their branches had clutched 
them by their garments. A lad from 
Chicago swore he had seen the devil 
raising his hairy head from a swamp and 
snorting at him so fiercely that he ran 
for dear life back to the camp. The 

The New Settlement. 117 

men from Texas laughed at him, and 
said it must have been a buffalo he had 
seen, but nothing could shake his belief 
that it was the evil one himself that 
appeared to him. Superstition added 
new terrors tO' their already doleful 
plight. A few days later two bolder 
lads ventured upon another exploration 
of the woods and were never heard of 

People began to sicken from over- 
work and fever. Quarrels and conten- 
tions grew fiercer; cattle which had not 
been marked by their owners was claim- 
ed by those who had no' right to them. 
At last the camp broke up altogether 
and the different parties shifted their 
wagons as far as possible from each 
other. It became evident that their 
provisions would give out and hunger 
stare them in the face long before any- 
thing could be expected from the soil. 
Despair got hold of the people. The 

118 For Daily Bread. 

sound of the axe grew fainter because 
patience and courage were lacking; but 
even now they would have worked if 
anybody had told them "this is your un- 
disputed property." As it was, nobody 
knew which was his and which was his 
neighbor's. They began to see that 
nothing was left for them, but to perish 
in the wilderness. Those who still had 
some money left took their wagons and 
went back to Clarksville. But the 
greater portion of the people had sunk 
eveiy penny they possessed in this ven- 
ture and had nothing left with which 
to retum. These wrung their hands in 
bitter despair. The axes were at last 
thrown asid^ and the forest rustled as 
if mocking at the insignificance of hu- 
man efforts. 

"We might go on cutting trees for 
two years and then die of hunger," said 
one peasant to another. 

One evening Laurence came to Ma- 
risha, and said: 

The New Settlement. 119 

"It is clear tliat starvation is before 
us, we shall perish with the others." 

"God's will be done," replied the girl. 
"He has shown us mercy before and will 
not desert us now." 

Saying this she raised her blue eyes 
to the starlit heaven, and with the re- 
flection of the fire surrounding her fair 
head as with a halo she looked the pic- 
ture of a sweet saint. 

The lads from Chicago and hunters 
from Texas called out: 

"Marisha, our sunli2,lit, we will stand 
by you." 

She thought within herself that there 
was one only with whom she would go 
to the end of the world: Jan, from Li- 
pince. He had promised to swim across 
the water like a drake, to fly through 
the air on wings, and roll along the road 
like a golden ring; but he had not come, 
the only one she cared for had forgotten 

120 For Dailj Bread. 

Marisha liad noticed long ago that the 
settlement was doomed, but her trust 
in Providence remained unshaken, and 
her soul purified in the fire^ of adversity 
shone serene and calm through her lim- 
pid eyes. 

Beside she remembered the old gen- 
tleman at 'New York who had helped 
them before and promised to help again 
if they needed it. 

In the meanwhile the confusion in 
the camp grew from bad to worse. 
People escaped from it in the night- 
time, and what became of them it 'was 
difficult to say. And still around them 
the forest rustled and waved its trees 
and branches mocking at their helplessr 

Old Laurence fell ill from overstrain- 
ing his muscles. He felt pains in his 
back and all his limbs. For two days 
he said nothing about it, the third day 
he could not rise from his improvised 

The New Settlement. 121 

bed, Marisha went to the woods, gath- 
ered a quantity of moss and prepared 
for him a bed on the timber rafters 
which he had put together for the erec- 
tion of their cabin; then set herself to 
concocting a cordial from various herbs 
and spirit. 

"Marisha," murmured the old man, 
"death is creeping towards me from yon 
black forest and thou wilt remain an 
orphan alone in the world. God is now 
punishing me for my heavy sins in 
bringing you out here, and my last hours 
will be full of anguish." 

'T)addy," replied the girl, "It was my 
bounden duty to go with you, I would 
not have let you come alone." 

"If I left thee with a protector and 
saw thee married I could die easier. 
Marisha! take Black Orlik for thy hus- 
l^nd, he is a good lad and will take care 
of thee." 

Black Orlik, the great hunter from 

122 For Daily Bread. 

Texas, who heard this fell on his knees 
before the sick man, and spoke up: 

"Your blessing, father! I love the lasg 
more than my life. The woods and I 
are old friends, and I will not let her 
come to harm." 

Saying this he looked out of his fal- 
con eyes at the girl, but she sank down 
at the old man's feet. 

"Do not force me. Daddy, I must re- 
main faithful to him I promised." 

"You will never be his, because I 
shall kill him. You must b© mine or 
nobody's," replied Black Orlik. "They 
all will perish here and you will perish 
also unless I save you." 

Black Orlik was right. The utter 
destruction of the settlement was merely 
a question of time. They had already 
begun to slay the cattle bought for till- 
ing the soil. Fever became more fre- 
quent; people either cursed or cried out 
to heaven in a loud voice. One Sun- 

The New Settlement. 123 

day all the men, women and children 
knelt down together and there rose a 
chorus of monrful voices: 

"O Lord, have mercy upon us! O 
Lord, save and deliver us from evil." 

The voices often broken by sobs rose 
to the canopy of heaven and the forest 
mumiured and rustled "I am King here, 
I am Master, I am the stronger." 

But Orlik, who knew the woods, look- 
ed up with gleaming eyes as if measur- 
ing his strength with that impenetrable 
wall, and then said aloud: 

"We will have a hand to hand tussle 
by and by." 

The men looked at Orlik with aston- 
ishment. Those who had known him 
in Texas believed in him implicitly, be- 
cause he was a great hunter, famous 
even among the Texas hunters. He 
was powerfully built and would engage 
a grizzly single handed. At Saint An- 
tonio, where he had formerly lived, 

124 For Daily Bread. 

they knew that when he took his rifle, 
he might often disappear for months 
together, but always came back un- 
harmed and in excellent condition. 
They called him Black Orlik from his 
tanned complexion. Some said that at 
a time he was one of a band of pirates 
but that was not true. He brought 
skins from the woods, sometimes Indian 
scalps, until the priest threatened him 
with excommunication. Now he was 
almost the only one in Borovina who 
did not care what happened. He was 
not troubled about the future. The 
woods gave him food, shelter, and cloth- 
ing. When the people began to desert 
the place he took things into his own 
hands and in this he was backed up by 
the lads from Texas. "When after the 
public prayers he was challenging the 
forest, people thought he must have a 
new scheme in hand and began to grow 
less despondent. 

The New Settlement. 125 

The sun had set. High up, between 
the branches of the dark hickory trees 
gleamed a yellow light which gradually 
changed into red and then disappeared. 
There was a strong wind blowing from 
the South, when at dusk Orlik seized 
his rifle and went into the woods. 

The night was very dark when the 
people in the camp saw something like a 
great shining star rising in the distance 
above the forest; then appeared a sec- 
ond, a third, which increased in volume, 
spreading all round a red, glaring light. 

"The forest is on fire ! the forest is on 
fire!" shouted the terrified spectators. 

Great flocks of birds rose screaming 
and chattering from the thickets. The 
cattle began lowing mournfully, the 
dogs howled, and people panic stricken 
rushed aimlessly about in fear less the 
flames might reach the camp. The con- 
flagration spread rapidly, the flames 
diffused themselves like water running 

126 For Daily Bread. 

along the dead creepers. The wind tore 
off the burning leaves and carried them 
along like so many fiery birds. 

The hickory trees exploded with a 
report like cannons. Like fiery ser- 
pents the flames writhed and twisted 
around the^ resinous undergrowth. The 
hissing and roaring of the fire mingled 
with the screaming of birds and bellow- 
ing of beasts rose into a tumult inde- 
scribable. The tall trees like so many 
fiery columns swayed to and fro. The 
burning creepers torn off from the trees 
seemed to stretch out demoniacal arms 
sending the fiery element from tree to 
tree. The sky was of a dusky red as 
if the conflagration had spread into the 
heavens above. It was almost as light 
as in the daytime. Then all the flames 
blended into one huge mass of fire which 
like the breath of destruction or the 
wrath of God rushed through the forest. 
The smoke and heat and smell of 

The New Settlement. 127 

burning wood became almost overpower- 
ing. The people, though not threatened 
bj immediate danger, were still wildly 
nishing about searching and calling for 
each other, w^hen suddenly from out of 
the burning woods, lit up by falling 
sparks, emerged the figure of Black Or- 
lik. His face was begrimed with smoke 
and his eyes looked fierce and exultant. 
They surrounded him from all sides, and 
he leaning on his rifle he said: 

"You will not have to cut trees any 
longer. I have burned the woods. To- 
morrow you shall have, each of you, as 
much land as you can manage." Then 
approaching Marisha, he whispered: 

"You must be mine now, for it was 
I who burned the forest. Who is 
stronger than I?" 

The girl trembled in every limb be- 
cause the wild elements seemed to be 
reflected in Orlik's eyes and he was ter- 
rible to look at. 

128 For Daily Bread. 

For the first time since she had set 
foot on American soil, she thanked God 
that her Jan was far away in the' quiet 
Lipince village. 

The roaring fiery waves rushed on 
their mad career further and further 
away from the camp; at daybreak the 
sky was overcast and threatened rain. 
The few people who ventured into the 
neighborhood of the smouldering woods 
were driven back by the intense heat. 
The whole day a heavy fog hung in the 
air and shrouded the whole landscape 
from view. At night, rain began to 
fall, which presently changed into a 
heavy downpour. Maybe the conflag- 
ration shaking the atmosphere contrib- 
uted to the breaking of the clouds, or 
perhaps it was the time when heavy 
rains fell in these regions of big rivers, 
swamps, and lakes. The whole encamp- 
ment grew soft and muddy and looked 
like a vast marsh. The people exposed 

The Xew Settlement 1-^ 

to continual wet began to sicken. More 
of the people left the settlement for 
Clarksville, but return-ed soon after mth 
the terrible news that the river had risen 
and their retreat was cut otf. 

Consternation prevailed in the camp, 
provisions were short, and now they 
coiild get nothing from Clarksville. 

Laurence and Marisha were less ex- 
posed to hunger than the others because 
Orlik's strong hand protected them. 
Every morning he brought some game 
which he either shot or caught in snares. 
He had put his own tent over their cabin 
wall to protect Marisha and the old man 
from rain and wind. Marisha was ob- 
liged to accept all his gifts and be grate- 
ful to him, he would take nothing in 
return but that which Marisha would 
not give him; her love. 

"There are other girls in the world," 
she said, " go and choose one among 

130 For Daily Bread. 

them. You know my heart belongs to 

"If I were to search the whole world 
over, I would not find one like you. 
You are the only one for me and you 
must be mine. "What will you do if 
the old man dies? You will come to me 
of your own accord and I shall carry 
you off into the forest as the wolf car- 
ries a lambkin; but not to devour you. 
Whom do I fear? Let him come here, 
that lover of yours, and we shall see 
who is the stronger man." 

When Orlik spoke about the old man 
dying he judged by what he saw. Lau- 
rence was rapidly growing worse; 
sometimes delirious, and always be- 
moaning his fate that the Lord 
was punishing him for his sins and 
that never again would he behold his 
native village. Orlik promised and 
vowed to take Marisha back to Lipince, 
but this added more bitterness to the 

The New Settlement. 131 

girl's sorrow. To go back to the viUage 
where Jan lived as the wife of another 
— no! it were better to remain here and 
die in the wilderness. She thought that 
would be her fate. 

A new disaster was in store for the 
settlers. One night when Orlik was ab- 
sent on one of his hunting expeditions, 
a great cry was heard in the encamp- 
ment: "The water! the water!" 

The startled settlers rubbed their eyes, 
looked round and saw as far as the eye 
could reach a greyish-white' expanse 
bubbling with heavy raindrops, and a 
watery cloud-obscured m;oon threw her 
steely light on the rippling water. From 
the woods where the half charred stumps 
were dimly visible came the sound of 
rushing waves a great tumult arose 
The women and children climbed on the 
wagons; the men were rushing into the 
direction opposite where the trees had 
not been cut down. The water barely 

132 For Daily Bread. 

reached their knees but was rising rap- 
idly. The sound of rushing waters 
grew louder, and mingled with the cries 
of terror and entreaties for help. Pres- 
ently the animals began to retreat from 
place to place, driven by the pressure 
of the water. The sheep with plaintive 
bleating seemed tO' ask for help till they 
disappeared carried away by the current. 
It rained in ton*ents and soon the dis- 
tant rushing of the waters changed into 
the roar of the unfettered elements. 
The wagons began to sway and totter 
under the pressure. It soon became 
evident that this was not an ordinary 
flood caiused by heavy rainfall but an 
overflotw from the Arkansas and its trib- 
utaries. The trees snapped like reeds 
or were torn out by the roots, the ele- 
ments seemed to be unchained carrying 
with them darkness and death. 

One of the wagons standing nearest 
the woods toppled over. At the heart- 

The jSTew Settlement. 133 

rending cries of the women, the dark 
figures of several men were seen leap- 
ing from the trees, but the waves car- 
ried the would-be rescuers into the for- 
est to perish. In other wagons people 
clung to the canvass roofs. The rain 
came dowm unceasingly and still greater 
darkness fell on the dusky lake. 

Sometimes a log w^ith a human being 
clinging to it was bobbing up and down 
along the current; sometimes the dark 
form of an« animal or a man, sometimes 
a haoid was stretched out of the water 
and then disappeared forever. 

The bellowing of the beasts and the 
agonizing cries and prayers of human 
beings were drowned alike in the mighty 
roaring of the waters. "Whirlpools and 
eddies were fonning on the grassy plain, 
the Avagons were fast disappearing. 

And Laurence and Marisha, what had 
become of tliem? The timbered wall 
on which Laurence was lying covered 

134 For Daily Bread. 

by Orlik's tent had saved them for the 
moment, as it floated on the water like 
a raft. The eddies turned it round and 
round, and the current carried it towards 
the woods and bumping against one 
tree and another pushed it into the bed 
of the stream and further out intO' the 

Marisha kneeling by her father's 
couch, raised her han.ds to Heaven, call- 
ing for help from above; but her only 
answer was the splashing of the water 
against the wooden- raft. 

The tent had been carried off by the 
wind, and the few planks their only 
refuge might be dashed to pieces any 

Presently it stuck fast between the 
branches of a tree, the top of which rose 
above the water At the same minute 
a human voice called out to them: 

"Take my rifle and move to the fur- 
ther side of the raft to keep in it bal- 
ance. I am going to jump down." 

The New Settlement. 135 

As soon as Laurence and Marisha had 
obeved these instructions a dark figure 
jumped from the branches on to the 

It was Orlik. 

"Marisha," he said, "as I promised, so 
I will stand by thee ; and may God deal 
with me a? I deal by you." 

He took the axe hanging at his side, 
cut off a stout branch, fashioned it 
quickly to suit his purpose, pushed the 
raft out of the tree, and began to row. 

Once in the bed of the stream, the 
cun-ent increased their speed and they 
floated on and on; where they went they 
did not know. 

From time to time Orlik turned the 
raft aside in order to avoid trees, or 
pushed stumps or branches out of the 
way. His strength seemed to increase 
with ever\- difficulty and his eyes, in 
spite of the darkness, noticed everything 
that might endanger their fragile 

136 For Daily Bread. 

craft. Hour after hour passed. Anj 
ordinary man would have succumbed 
under the strain; but he did not show 
any sign of fatigue. Near daybreak 
they came out of the forest; not a sin- 
gle tree was visible in the distance. 
The Avhole country looked like one vast 
sea. Hideous, foaming waves rolled 
and whirled over the plain. It became 
lighter, and Orlik seeing that no imme- 
diate danger was to be apprehended 
stopped rowing for a moment, and turn- 
ing to Marisha, he said: 

"You are mine now, because I 
snatched you from the jaws of death." 
His head was bare, and his face wet 
and glowing from the single-handed 
fight with the elements, had such an 
expression of power and masterfulness, 
that for the first time Marisha dared 
not reply that she belonged to another. 
"Marisha," said the lad softly, "Ma- 
risha, dearest." 

The New Settlement. 137 

'^here are we going?" she asked, 
endeavoring to change the subject. 

"What do I care, as long as we are 
together, sweetheart." 

"Go on rowing, because death is still 
around us." 

Orlik began to row vigorously. Lau- 
rence in the meanwhile had grown 
worse and worse. Sometimes he was 
delirious, sometimes conscious, but he 
grew weaker every minute. It was too 
great a shock, and too much suffering 
for his old wornout body. He was 
drawing fast towards the last stage of his 
wanderings. At noon he woke up and 

"Marisha ! I shall not see the dawn of 
another day. Oh, child! child! why 
did I leave my home and drag thee with 
me into misery? But God is merciful; 
I have suffered much, and He will for- 
give my sins. Bury me if you can and 
let Orlik take thee to New York. The 

J 38 For Daily Bread. 

good gentleman will take care of thee, 
and send thee back to Linince. I shall 
not see it any more. Oh, God! merci- 
ful and jnst, let my soul take wings, 
and see the old home once again." 

The fever again increased and he be- 
gan to pray aloud; and then called out in 
a terrified voice : "Do not throw me into 
the water as if I were a dog." He 
seemed suddenly, to remember how he 
had tried to drown Marisha so as to put 
her out of her misery, and cried out 
in piteous tones: "Child, forgive! for- 

The poor girl was seated at his side, 
sobbing pitifully; and Orlik took the 
oar with a finner grasp while tears 
gripped him by the throat. 

Towards evening it cleared up. The 
sun burst out and threw a flood of light 
on the watery desert. The old man was 
dying, but God was good to him and 
gave him an easy end. First he repeated 

The New Settlement. 139 

in mournful tones, over and over 
again : 

"Whj did I leave my own country 
and my own village?" by degrees the 
feeble voice grew more cheerful. He 
was on his way home. The gentleman 
at ISTew York had given him money to 
buy his little homestead back again and 
they are both on their way home. They 
are on the ocean; the ship goes night 
and day, and the sailors are singing. 
Then he sees the harbor whence he em- 
barked, towns fly past him, he 
hears the sounds of German speech, the 
train goes faster and faster and he is 
getting nearer home. Joy is expanding 
his breast, how different the air feels, 
how sweet and refreshing. What is 
this — the frontier? The peasant's sim- 
ple heart beats like a sledge hammer. 
Go on! go on! Good God, there are 
the fields! that is Malick's pear tree, 
the grey cabins, and the church. There 
is a peasant in his square- cap ploughing 

140 For Daily Bread. 

the field. He stretches his hands out 
to him in greeting. There is the last 
station and then comes Lipince. Both 
he and Marisha are going along the road 
weeping. It is spring, the wheat is in 
bloom, and the cockchafers are buzzing 
in the air. They are ringing the bell 
for the Angelus. O Lord Jesus, it is 
too much happiness for a sinful man. 
One hill to climb and there is the vil- 
lage cross and the boundary of Lipince. 
The peasant throws himself on the 
ground and cries like a child, he crawls 
up to the cross and hugs it with both 
arms; he is home again. 

Yes, he is at home; because only the 
soulless body remains on the raft in the 
midst of the surging flood, and his spirit 
has gone where is peace and happiness. 
In vain are the sobs and cries of his 
daughter: "Daddy, dear. Daddy!" Poor 
Marisha, he will not return to thee ! He 
is too happy in his new home! 

The N'ew Settlement. 141 

The night had come. The improv- 
ised oar almost dropped from Orlik's 
blistered hands and hnnger had begim 
to tonnent them. Marisha, kneeling 
near her father's body, was praying; and 
all around nothing was to be seen but 
the water. Had they entered into an- 
other river? because the current was 
carrying them along very fast or maybe 
they were on the prairie as the whirl- 
pools and eddies caused by the hollows 
were often turning the raft round and 
roimd and it was almost impossible to 
steer it. Orlik felt himself growing 
"fainter, when suddenly, he stood straight 
lip and shouted excitedly: 

"By the wounds of Christ! there is 
a light." Marisha looked in the direc- 
tion where his arm pointed, and saw a 
feeble light with its ray reflected in the 

"It is the boat from Clarksville," said 
Orlik quickly, "It has been sent out by 

142 For Daily Bread. 

the tO'wn to save lives. If they could 
only see us! Marisha! cheer up, help 
is at hand," and he called out with all 
his might "Hoop! halloa!" rowing at 
the same time with redoubled vigor. 

The light gradually increased and by 
its red glow they could distinctly see 
the outline of a large boat. They were 
still far away from it, but the distance 
seemed to lessen. 

"Is my eyesight failing," muttered 
Orlik, after he had rowed some time, 
or does the light appear smaller. Yes, 
it was growing smaller and dimmer; 
they had evidently drifted into another 

Suddenly the oar broke in Orlik's 
powerful hands and the current carried 
them swiftly further away from the 
light. Fortunately the raft stuck fast 
in the branches of a lonely tree. Both 
shouted for help but the rushing water 
drowned their voices. 

The New Settlement. 143 

"1 am going to fire," said Orlik. 
"They will see the flash and hear the 

x\.s soon as he said this he raised his 
rifle but instead of a flash and crack there 
was only the click of the hammer. The 
powder was wet. 

Orlik threw himself down on the raft, 
and remained there like one bereft of 
his senses. Presently he raised himself. 
"Marisha," he said, in a half dreamy 
voice: "I think you have fairly be- 
witched me; if you were like other girls 
I should have carried you off by force 
long ago; there was a time when I 
thought of it, but dared not do it for 
I loved you. Like a wolf I roamed 
solitary in the forest and people were 
afraid of me, and now I am timid in 
the presence of a girl. I will save you 
yet or perish in the attempt. If you 
cannot love me it were better you 
should be free from me. Marisha, my 
love, my sunlight, farewell!" 

144 For Daily Bread. 

Before she realized wliat lie was going 
to do lie had jumped from the raft into 
the whirling storm. For a moment 
she saw his dark head emerging from 
the water and his arms striking out. 
Then he disappeared from view. He 
was swimming towards the boat to sum- 
mon help. The fierce current impeded 
his motions and dragged him back. If 
he could have got into smoother water 
he might have done it, for he was an 
expert swimmer, but in spite of super- 
human effort he made little progress. 
The yellow foaming water blinded his 
eyes, he raised his head and peered 
through the darkness to see the light 
of the boat. Sometimes a bigger wave 
threw him back, another lifted him up, 
his breath came quicker and quicker, 
and he felt his knees growing stiff. He 
seemed to hear the voice of Marisha 
calling for help, and braced himself for 
a fresh effort. Even now he could have 

The :N'ew Settlement. 145 

gone back to the raft, carried by the 
current, but he did not even think of it, 
because the lights of the boat seemed 
to come nearer. The fact was that the 
boat came into his direction carried by 
the same current that he was struggling 
against. A few more strokes and he 
will reach it. 

"Help! Help!" The last cry was half 
smothered by the water which entered 
into his throat. A wave passed over him 
but he arose again. The boat was so 
close to him that he heard the splashing 
of the oars. He gathered his strength 
for another ciy. They had evidently 
heard him, because the strokes of the 
oars became faster. But Orlik went 
down again. A hideous whirlpool 
dragged him under. Once more he ap- 
peared on the surface, then one hand is 
lifted above the water, then the other, 
presently he disappeared altogether. 

"In the meanwhile Marisha on the 

146 For Daily Bread. 

raft alone witli the body of her father 
stared half unconsciously at the far off 
lisht. Then, was it her feverish fancy? 
but it seemed to come nearer, bear down 
upon her, the huge boat which in the 
red light and fast moving oars looked 
like an immense beetle. 

Marisha utterd piercing cries for help. 

"I say, Smith; I'll be hanged if I 
didn't hear cries of help a few minutes 
ago, and just now I heard them again." 

A few moments later strong anus car- 
ried Marisha into the boat, but Orlik 
was not there. 

Two months later Marisha left the 
hospital of Little Rock, and with money 
provided by charitable people, set out 
on her way to New York. 

The money was not sufficient and she 
had to go part of the way on foot, but 
she could now speak a little English, 
and sometimes the conductors would 
give her a lift. Many people showed 

The Xew Settlement. 147 

pity to the pale girl with the large bine 
eyes who- looked more like a shadow 
than a human being. People were not 
hard; it was life and its conditions which 
bore hardly on her. What business had 
this little Polish wildflower in the Amer- 
ican whirlpool? The big wheels of life 
would crush her frail life as cart wheels 
pass over the flowers on a meadow. 

With weak and trembling hand she 
pulled the bell of the house in Water 
street, in Xew York; in search of help 
from the good old gentleman who hailed 
from Posen like herself. A stranger 
opened the door: 

"Is Mister Ilotopvlski at home ?" 

"Who's he?" 

"A gentleman, well on in years," here 
•"•he produced the card. 

"He is dead." 

"Dead? and his son, Master William?" 

"Gone away." 

"And Miss Jenny?" 

148 For Daily Bread. 

"Gone away." 

The door was shut in her face. She 
sat down on the threshold and wiped her 
eyes. Here she was again in New York, 
alone without protection or money, de- 
pending on God alone. 

What is she to do now? Stay at New 
York? No, never. She would go to 
the docks and beg the captains to take 
her back to Hamburg. From there, on 
foot and begging her bread she would 
go back to Lipince. Jan was there. If 
he has forgotten his love, and spurns 
her she would at least die in the old 

She went to the docks and humbly 
begged the German captains to take her 
on their ships. Some of them might 
have done so, because with a little bet- 
ter living she would look a comely lass, 
but the rules were against it, and they 
bade her to go away. 

Marisha spent her nights on the same 

The New Settlement. 149 

pier "where they had slept that never to 
be forgotten night, she and her father. 
Fortunately it was summer, and the 
nights were wann. 

At daybreak she was always at the 
German docks to renew her prayers to 
be taken across the Atlantic and always 
in vain. She grew weaker every day, 
and felt that unless she sailed soon, she 
would die, as died all those that had 
been connected Avith her fate. But, 
with the quiet endurance of the peasant 
she still clung to hope. 

One morning she crept there thinking 
it would be the last time, as her strength 
was ebbing fast. She resolved to beg 
no more, but get into a ship sailing for 
Europe, and hide somewhere quietly. 
When, later on, they should find her 
they would not throw her into the water; 
and if they did, what would it matter? 
It was all one to her how she died, if 
die she must. But on the gangway 

150 For Daily Bread. 

leading to the ship, the man on watch 
rudely pushed her back. She sat down 
on some lumber near the water and 
thought the fever was getting hold of 
her again. She began to smile strange- 
ly and mutter to herself: 

''I am a great heiress now, but always 
faithful. Jan, don't you recognize 
your Marisha?" 

It was not fever but insanity. 

Henceforth she came every day to 
the docks to wait for the ship which was 
to bring her lover. People came to 
know her and gave her small gifts. She 
thanked them humbly and smiled at 
them like a child. This continued for 
two months. One morning she did not 
come and was seen no more. 

The newspapers reported the next day 
that the body of a girl, name and where- 
abouts unknown, had been foimd dead 
on the furthest end of the pier. 


(J^ux in Tenebris Lucet) 


There are days, especially in Novem- 
ber, so dark, damp, and gloomy that even 
to those endowed witli a good constitu- 
tion, life becomes a thing of utter weari- 

Ever since Kamionka had begun to 
feel ill and left off working at his statue 
of charity this same weather had op- 
pressed him more than his physical ail- 
ment. Morning after morning he rose 
from his couch, wiped the large studio 
%vindow and peered anxiously out to see 
Vvdiether there was any change in the 
weather; but the same dreary vista met 
his eyes. A leaden mist shrouded the 
earth; it did not rain, yet the flags in 
the court yard were covered with a 

greasy moisture, everything was soaked 

154 An Artist's End. 

with wet, and the large drops falling 
from the waterspout seemed to beat time 
to the slowly dragging hours of sadness. 

The window of the studio looked upon 
the yard and garden beyond. The grass 
across the railings still looked green with 
the sickly greenness of death and decay ; 
the trees were stripped of all but a few 
yellow leaves and the black, dripping 
branches seen dimly through the mist 
presented a ghost-like appearance. The 
rooks which had chosen them for their 
winter quarters flapped their wings and 
cawed loudly before settling down among 
the branches. 

On days like these the stiidio looked 
like a mortuary. Marble and plaster of 
Paris require light and sunny skies. In 
the dim light their whiteness looked 
mournful, and the darker terra albas 
losing all distinctness of outline, took 
indescribable, almost hideous shapes. 
Dirt and untidiness added not a little to 

An Artist's End. 155 

tlie desolation of the place. Dust mixed 
with bits- of clay, and dirt carried in from 
the street covered the floor. The walls, 
discolored by age, were bare except for a 
few casts of hands and feet; not far 
from the window hung a small looking- 
glass snrmonnted by a horse's skull, and 
a bunch of withered flowers. 

In one corner stood the bed covered 
with an old, crum.pled counterpane, near 
it a little table with andiron candlestick. 
Kamionka, to save expense, lived and 
slept in the studio. The bed was usually 
concealed by a screen; but now the 
screen had been removed so that the sick 
man might be able to- watch the win- 
dow opposite for the sun to- come out. 
There was another still larger window in 
the roof, but this was so encrusted with 
dust and dirt that even on bright days 
it emitted but a scanty light. 

It did not clear up. After several days 
of gloominess the clouds sunk lower yet; 

156 An Artist's End. 

the air became more and more saturated 
with mist and it grew darker still. The 
artist who had lain down on his bed fully 
dressed began to feel worse ; he took ofi 
his clothes and got up no more. 

He did not suffer from any particular 
disease; he only felt very tired, very sad, 
and a general weakness seemed to numb 
his limbs. He did not wish for death, 
yet could not summon energy enough to 

The long hours of darkness seemed to 
him all the longer, as he had nobody near 
him. His wife had died twenty years 
before; his relations lived in another part 
of the country and he had no friends. 
His acquaintances had gradually desert- 
ed him because of his increasing ill tem- 
per. At the beginning people had 
smiled at his cantankerous humors, but 
when he became more and more of an 
oddity and took offence at the slightest 
joke, even those that knew him best 
broke off all intercourse. 

An Artist's End. 157 

They also resented that he had grown 
pious with advancing years and doubted 
his sincerity. Malicious tongues whis- 
pered that he went to church in order to 
get commissions from the priests. They 
were wrong. His piety was not, perhaps, 
the outcome of a firm and deep-rooted 
conviction, but it was genuine. The only 
thing said against him founded upon 
truth was his ever increasing miserliness. 
For many years he had lived in his studio 
upon the scantiest of fares, which under- 
mined his constitution and gave his face 
the waxlike hue. 

He avoided people, fearing they might 
want something from him. His was a 
warped nature, embittered and very un- 
happy. But for all this his character was 
not a common one, as even his faults had 
an artistic stamp. Those who fancied he 
hoarded money were wrong. Kamionka 
was a poor man because he spent all his 
money upon etchings, of which he had a 

158 An Artist's End. 

large collection. He looked at them now 
and then and counted them with the 
greed of a miser gloating over his gold. 
He kept this a secret from everybody, 
perhaps for the very reason that the fan- 
cy had sprung from a great sorrow and 
deep feelings. 

A year or two after the death of his 
wife he had come across an old etching, 
the center figure of which recalled to 
him the features of his dead wife. He 
bought the print and ever afterwards 
looked about to find the same likeness in 
others and gradually, as the fancy got 
hold of him, he bought anything in the 
same line that pleased Lis artistic eye. 

People who have lost what they held 
most precious in life are obliged to fill 
up the void, otherwise they could not ex- 
ist. As to Kamionka nobody would have 
thought that this elderly egoist had once 
loved a woman more than his life. Had 
she not died, his life most likely would 

An Artist's End. 159 

h&ve been different, more peaceful, and 
hnman. As it was this love had outlived 
his talent, youth and happier times. 

The piety which gradually became a 
regular custom, based upon the observa- 
tion of outward forms, had spnmg from 
the same source. Kamionka was not one 
of those who clung to religious beliefs; 
he began to pray after the death of his 
wife because it seemed to him that this 
was the only thing now he could do for 
her, the only link which connected him 
with her. Natures apparently cold and 
impassive are often endowed vnth an in- 
tensity of feeling little suspected by their 
sun-oundings. After the death of his 
wife all Kamionka's thoughts twined 
around her memory and drew nourish- 
ment from it like the parasite plant from 
the tree to which it cling-s; but the hu- 
man mind cannot subsist on this kind of 
nutriment; it distorts it and throws it off 
its balance. 

IGO An Artist's End. 

Had he not been an artist lie conld not 
have survived his loss : his art saved him. 
It is useless to tell the survivor that it 
matters nothing to the dead in what 
grave they rest. Kamionka wished his 
dead wife to have the best he could give 
her and he worked at her monument as 
much with his heart as hands. This 
saved him from madness and prevented 
his giving way altogether. 

The man remained warped and un- 
happy, but art had saved the artist. 
Henceforth Kamionka lived only for his 

Very few in looking at pictures or 
sculptures give any thought as to wheth- 
er the artist has treated his subject hon- 
estly or otherwise. Upon this point Kam- 
ionka was without reproach. He was not 
a genius, and his gift only a little above 
the average, therefore it could not fill his 
whole life or compensate him for his loss, 
but such as it was he respected it deeply 

An Artist's End. 161 

and was always true to it. During all his 
life he never insulted or wronged his art, 
either for fame, lucre, or blame. He 
created what h© felt. In those happy 
times when he lived like other men he 
used to speak about art in quite an un- 
common way and when afterw^ards peo- 
ple began to avoid him he thought of it 
in the loneliness of his studio watli the 
same reverence and honesty. 

Human beings in relation to each 
other have certain unwritten laws in vir- 
tue of which the exceptionally unhappy 
ones are condemned to solitude It is the 
stone thrust out of the riverbed, ceasing 
to rub against other stones, becomes in- 
crusted mth moss, so the human unit 
separated from his fellows acquires faults 
and oddities. 

Now when Kamionka lay ill nobody 

came to see him except the charwoman, 

who looked in twice a day to fill li"!s 

samovar and prepare the tea. She ad- 


162 An Artist's End. 

vised to send for the doctor, but he scout- 
ed the idea, being afraid of the expense. 

At last he grew very faint, perhaps 
because he took no nourishment except 
tea. But he had no desire for anything, 
either to eat or to work, or to live. His 
thoughts were as limp as tlie autumn 
leaves he saw through the window, and 
in harmony with the mist and darkness 
outside. There are no worsen moments in 
human eixstence than when it is brought 
home to us that all has been don© there 
was to do, and that life can give us noth- 
ing more. Kamionka for nearly fifteen 
years had lived in continual terror lest 
his talent should give out. Now he was 
sure of it and he thought with bitterness 
that even his art had deserted him. He 
felt weary and utterly exhausted. He 
did not expect to die soon, but did not 
believe he could get better. 

Altogether there was not a spark of 
hope in him. 

An Artist's End. 103 

If he wished for anything it "vrere for 
the snn to come ont and shine through 
the window. He thought that might re- 
vive him a little. He had always been 
sensitive to the changes of weather, and 
rain or darkness, always influenced his 
spirit, and now this hopeless weather, as 
he called it, had come when he lay pros- 
trated on his bed. 

Every morning when the woman came 
with his tea Kamionka asked : 

"How does it look outside? Do you 
think it is clearing up?" 

"Ah, no," answered the woman, 
"there is such a mist that one cannot see 
anybody within a yard." 

The sick man hearing this shut his 
eyes wearily and remained motionless for 

In the courtyard everything was silent 
but for the slow continual drip of the 

At three o'clock in the afternoon it 

164 An Artist's End. 

grew so dark that Kamionka had to light 
the candle. This, being so weak, cost 
him no little trouble. Before stetching 
out his hand for tlie matches he thought 
it over, then raised his arm, the thinness 
of which showing through the night 
dress offended his artistic taste; after he 
had lit the candle, he fell back again, 
and remained motionless, listening with 
closed eyes to the monotonous drip of the 
water, until the charwoman came in for 
the second time. 

The studio presented a strange sight. 
The flame of the candle lit up the bed 
and the artist lying upon it, and concen- 
trated itself in one luminous point on the 
forehead, which looked like old polished 
ivory. The remainder of the room lay 
in deep shadow, which increased and 
thickened gradually. But in proportion 
as the darkness increased the statues 
seemed to grow more lifelike. The flam\3 
of the candle rose and fell, and in the 

An Artist's End. 165 

flickering lights they too seemed to move 
and stand on tip-toe to look at the 
emaciated frame of the sculptor, curious 
to know whether their creator were still 
among the living. 

And truly there was in that face a 
certain rigidity of death. But from time 
to time the pale lips moved as if in 
prayer, or maybe silently complained of 
his loneliness, and the everlasting drip 
from the waterspout, which always with 
the same precision, seemed to measure 
the time of his illness. 

One evening the charwoman came in 
smelling strongly of alcohol, therefore 
more than usually loquacious, and said: 

"There is so much work on my hands 
that I can only just manage to look in 
twice a day. Why not send for a sister 
of mercy? They do not cost anything, 
and it would be more comfortable for 

The idea pleased Kamionka, but like 

166 An Artist's End. 

most queer tempered people, he liked to 
oppose what anybody advised him, he 
therefore refused. 

After the woman had gone he began, 
to turn it over in his mind. A sister of 
mercy! It was true they did not take 
money and what help and comfort she 
would have been to him! Kamionka, 
like other sick people left to themselves, 
had to bear various discomforts and 
small miseries which hurt him as much 
as they irritated him. Sometimes his 
head was lying in an uncomfortable posi- 
tion for hours and he could not summon 
energy enough to rearrange the pillows ; 
then at nights he often felt chilly and 
would have given anything for some hot 
tea, but if the lighting of the candle 
caused him difficulty how could he think 
of boiling the water? A sister of mercy 
would do all that for him mth the ut- 
most cheerfulness. How much easier it 
would be to bear illness vriih somebody 
to help him. 

An Artist's End. 167 

The poor man worked himself up to 
that extent that it appeared to him even 
illness under such conditions were some- 
thing almost desirable and wondered in- 
wardly that all this lay within his reach. 

The thought also that if the sister 
came the studio would look more cheer- 
ful, even the clouds might lift and the 
unceasing drip of the waterspout cease to 
haunt him. 

Then he began to regret that he had 
not agreed at once to the woman's pro- 
posal. The long, gloomy night was be- 
fore him and he could not see her till 
next morning. It dawned upon him that 
this night of all otliers would bei the long- 
est and the heaviest to bear. 

Thoughts flitted through his brain of 
what an utter outcast he was and he be- 
gan to compare his former life with what 
it now was. And as the thought of the 
sister, so now the days past and gone, 
seemed to be closely allied with sunshine 
and liriffht skies. 

168 An Artist's End. 

He began tliinking of his dead wife 
and to pour out all his grief and sorrow 
to her as he always did when he felt very 
miserable. At last he grew tired and fell 

The candle on the little table burned 
down. The flame changed from pink 
into a bluish hue, then flickered up once 
and twice and went out. The studio was 
now wrapped up in utter darkness. 

In the meantime outdoors the drops of 
water fell one by one as if all the sadness 
and gloom were filtering slowly through 
nature's bosom. 

Kamionka slept long and peacefully, 
when suddenly he woke up under the 
impression that something unusual was 
taking place in the studio. It was to- 
wards daybreak. The marble statues and 
plaster of paris casts began to whiten. A 
pale light shone through the window op- 
posite. By this light Kamionka saw 
somebody sitting near his bed. 

An Artist's End. 169 

He opened his eyes very ^vide and 
looked. It was a sister of mercy. 

She sat quite motionless, a little 
turned towards the window, with her 
head bent doAvn. Her hands were crossed 
on her knees — she seemed to pray. The 
sick man could not see her face, but he 
saw distinctly the white coif and the 
dark outline of the somewhat thin 

His heart began to beat a little anx- 
iously and the question rose in his mind : 

''When could the char^voman have 
fetched the sister, and how did she come 

Presently he thought it must be the 
fancy of a weakened brain and he shut 
his eyes. After a few moments he 
opened them again. 

The sister was still sitting in the same 
place, motionless as if absorbed in pray- 

A strange feeling, partly of joy and 

170 An Artist's End. 

partly of fear made his hair rise. Some- 
thing incomprehensible seemed to draw 
him towards that silent figure. He fan- 
cied to have seen her before- — but where 
and when he could not remember. He 
felt a great longing to see tlie face hid- 
den under the white coif. Kamionka, 
without understanding it himself, dared 
neither move or speak; he scarcely dared 
to breathe. He only felt that fear and 
joy possessed his whole being and asked 
himself wonderingly: What does it 

It had grown quite light now. "What 
a wonderful morning it must be out- 
doors he thought. Suddenly, without 
any transition, a great flood of light came 
in through the wudow, a light as strong 
and radiant as comes in the month of 
May. Waves of golden sunshine seemed 
to pour in and fill the room, the statues 
and marbles disappeared %vithin, the very 
walls seemed absorbed by it — and Ka- 

An Artist's End. 171 

mionka found liims;.lf in a lighted end- 
less space. 

He looked at the sister, the white coif, 
which concealed her features, seemed to 
shake with a sudden tremor, and the 
glorious light touched the bent head. 

She turned it slowly towards the sick 
man and suddenly the deserted outcast 
saAV as in a glory the well-known features 
of his beloved vdie. 

He rose fi-om his bed, and from his 
breast came a cry, which spoke of years 
of bitterness, tears, and sorrow: 
•'Lozia! Lozia!" 

And taking hold of her he pressed her 
to his heart and she threw both arms 
around his neck. 

The light grew stronger and stronger. 
"You remained true to me," she said 
at last, "therefore I came and prayed 
that death might deal gently by you." 

Kamionka was still holding her in his 
arms for fear the holy vision might dis- 

172 An Artist's End. 

appear together with the light. "I am 
ready to die," he said, "if only I could 
keep you with me." 

A smile of exceeding sweetness lit up 
her face and taking one hand from 
around his neck she pointed down and 

"You are dead; look there!" 
Kamionka's eyes followed the direc- 
tion of her hand and there below, under 
his feet, he looked through the skylight 
into the dim lonely studio; there on the 
bed lay his body, the wide-open mouth 
forming a decavity on the yellow waxen 
face. He looked upon the emaciated 
form as upon a strange thing. He soon 
lost sight of it altogether, because the 
wave of light, as if moved by a breeze 
from other worlds, carried them higher 
and higher into space. 


A Sketch of American Life 


Five or six years ago it happened that 
oil was discovered somewhere in the 
county of Mariposa, in California. The 
enormous profits derived from oil in 
Nevada and other states, speedily 
brought speculators to the spot, who 
formed a company and brought out 
pumps, barrels of all sizes and dimen- 
sions, and all the machinery necessary 
for sinking wells. Some fifty houses 
were erected for the workmen, the place 
named "Struck Oil," and shortly, as if 
by magic, a settlement sprung into life 
where formerly had been a barren wil- 
derness, inhabited only by coyotes. 

Two years later Struck Oil became a 

city, and was a city in the full meaning 

of the word. Please to note: There was 

already a shoemaker, a tailor, a carpen- 


176 A Comedy of Errors. 

ter, a blacksmith, a butcher, and a doc- 
tor. The latter a Frenchman, who in 
bygone times had shaved beards in 
Trance, but nevertheless had some surgi- 
cal knowledge and was harmless, which 
in an American doctor means a great 

The doctors, as is often the case in a 
small town, had an apothecary's shop. 
He was also postmaster, and had, there- 
fore, three strings to his bow. 

As an apothecar}^ he was equally 
harmless, as his whole stock consisted 
in colored syrups and Leroy. This quiet 
and gentle old man would say to his 
patients : 

"Do not be afraid of my physic. I 
take a dose myself every time I prescribe 
to a patient, and if it does not hurt a 
healthy man, it is sure not to harm a 
sick one. Now don't you think so?" 

"That's true," replied the satisfied pa- 
tients. It never occurred to them that 

A Comedy of Errors. 17 7 

it was the doctor's dut}' not only not to 
injure a patient, but to help him. 

Monsieur Dasonville, tliat was the doc- 
tor's name, was a staunch believer in the 
marv'ellous effects of leroy. Frequently 
at public meetings he would bare his 
head and turn to his audience with these 
words : 

"Ladies and gentlemen, you see in me 
the happy effects of leroy. I am seventy 
years old, and during forty years of my 
life, I have never failed to take a daily 
dose, and behold, I have not a single grey 
hair on my head." 

He had no grey hair, that was true 
enough ; but then it might have been re- 
marked that he had none at all, as his 
head was as smooth as a billiard ball; 
but as this had nothing whatever to do 
with the development of the city, the 
doctor's speech remained unchallenged. 

In the meanwhile Struck Oil City 
grew larger and larger. PresenJy a 

178 A Camedy of Errors. 

railway branch was established to con- 
nect the city with the world in general; 
and its officials decided upon. The doc- 
tor as a representative of learning, a man 
universally liked and respected, was 
chosen as judge; the shoemaker, Mr. 
Davis, a Polish Jew, became the head of 
the police force, which consisted of the 
sherifi and nobody else; a school was 
built, and its management entrusted to a 
schoolma'am, specially imported, an an- 
cient spinster with a chronic faceache; 
and last, but not least, there rose the 
first hotel under the name of the United 
States Hotel. 

Business flourished. The exportation 
of oil brought immense profits. 

Mr. Davis erected a bay-window be- 
fore his shop in imitation of those in 
'Frisco.' At the next meeting the citi- 
zens offered him a vote of thanks for 
having embellished the city; upon which 
the sheriff, with the proud humility of a 
great man, said : 

A Comedy of Errors. 179 

"Thank yoii! oh, thank yon!" 
Where there is a judge and a sheriff 
there are likely to be lawsuits. This 
called for wTiting matei-ial; therefore, at 
the corner of Coyote and First streets a 
stationer established himself, who sold 
also newspapers and political caricatures, 
representing General Grant as a boy 
milking a cow; the United States. It 
was not the sheriff's duty to prohibit the 
sale of caricatures, as the police had 
nothing to do with that. 

What would an American town be 
without a newspaper? At the end of the 
second year a paper under the title of 
the "Saturday Weekly Review," made 
its appearance and had as many subscrib- 
ers as there were people in the city. The 
editor of the paper was at the same time 
sub-editor, printer and distributor. The 
last duty did not cause him any incon- 
venience, as he kept a dairy and person- 
ally supplied the citizens with milk. 

180 A Comedy of Errors. 

These humble duties did not prevent him 
from beginning his political articles 
something after this fashion: "If our 
benighted President had followed the ad- 
vice given him in our last issue," etc., 

It is seen, therefore, that not a single 
blessing was lacking in Struck Oil City. 
The sheriff's duties v/ere not heavy, as 
the miners working the oil-wells had 
none of the violent and rowdy spirit of 
the gold-diggers; and things were gen- 
erally pretty quiet. ISTobody fought any- 
body, lynch-law was unknown, and the 
days flowed peacefully, one exactly like 
the other. The first half of the day was 
devoted to business, and in the evening 
when there were no meetings, the citi- 
zens burnt rubbish in the street, and 
then went to bed; in the blissful con- 
sciousness that they would do the same 
thing the day following. 

The sheriff's only trouble was that he 

A Comedy of Errors. 181 

could not prevail upon the citizens not 
to fire at the wild geese which at sunset 
were seen flying over the city. The law 
prohibits using fireamis in public thor- 
oughfares. ''If it were a scurv^y little 
town," remarked the sheriff, "1 wouldn't 
say anything against the practice, but in 
a respectable city to go on bang! bang- 
ing in the streets, is, to say the least, un- 

The citizens listened deferentially to 
his speech, nodded their heads, and said : 
"Yes, yes," but when the evening came 
and on the rosy sky appeared the long 
grey line of the birds flying towards the 
ocean, everybody forgot his promise, 
grasped the rifle, and the shooting began 
as merrily as ever. 

Mr. Davis might have brought the cul- 
prits before the judge to be fined heav- 
ily, but we must not forget that the of- 
fenders were the judge's patients in case 
of sickness, and which ha]>pened of tener, 

182 A Comedy of Errors. 

the sheriff's customers when their boots 
wore out. and as one hand washes the 
other, it is not likely one hand would 
hurt the other. Peace and quietness 
reigned therefore in Struck Oil City, 
when suddenly that delightful state of 
things came to an end. 

Two storekeepers had risen against 
each other in mortal feud. In the stores 
was everything which mortal man or 
woman can want or desire: hats, cigars, 
paper-collars, shirts, blouses, and all 
sorts of gToceries. In the beginning 
there was but one store, kept by Hans 
Kasche, a phlegmatic German from 
Prussia. He was about thirty-five years 
old, not exactly fat, but round and com- 
fortable looking. He always walked 
about in his shirt sleeves and never part- 
ed company with his pipe. Ho knew 
enough English for his business, and no 
more; but to the latter he attended so 
diligently, that after a year it was said 

A Comedy of Errors. 183 

by tiiose wlio knew that he was -.vorth 
several thousand dollars. 

Suddenly a second store made its ap- 
pearance opposite Hans Kasche. 

By a singular chance the rival estab- 
lishment was also kept by a German, a 
Miss J^euman, or, as she styled herself, 
!N'ewman. The two dealei-s looked as- 
kance at each other from the beginning, 
but open hostilities did not break out 
until Miss JSTeuman gave an ''Opening" 
luncheon, and the cakes there served 
were found to be baked from flour adul- 
terated with soda and alum. She would 
have compromised herself in public opin- 
ion had she not declared that the flour 
had been purchased at Hans Kasche's; 
her own not being yet unpacked. It be- 
came evident that Hans must be a rascal, 
who, devoured by envy, had tried to ruin 
his rival at the very outset. Everybody 
anticipated skirmishes between the two, 
but did not foresee that so much personal 

184 A Comedy of Errors. 

animosity would be mixed up with it. 
It was commented upon by the citizens 
that Hans never burned his rubbish, but 
when the wind blew in the direction of 
his rival's store. Miss iN'euman never 
spoke of Hans but as the "Dutchman," 
which gave mortal offence. 

In the beginning the citizens made 
fun of both parties, especially as neither 
of them spoke English; but gradually, 
from their daily relations with the gro- 
cers two parties began to form them- 
selves in the city, the IS^eumanites and 
the Hansimists, who looked askance at 
each other, which undermined the gen- 
eral harmony and threatened the city 
with dire complications. The diplomatic 
sheriif tried in vain to stem the torrent 
at its source and to conciliate the two 
Germans. He was often seen standing 
in the middle of the street addressing 
them in their native tongue: 

"Come now, why should you quarrel? 

A Comedy of Errors. 185 

Don't you buy your boots in the same 
establishment? I have got just now such 
a lovely assortment, none better to be 
found in San Francisco." 

"What is the use of recommending 
your boots to people who will have to do 
without them before long?" inteiTupted 
the lady, acrimoniously. 

"I do not attract customers by my 
feet," replied phlegmatic Hans. 

ISTow Miss ISTeuman, though a Ger- 
man, had beautiful feet, and this covert 
sneer filled her with wrath unspeakable. 

At the meetings, the affairs of the two 
rival dealers begin to evoke discussion 
and, as in America, in the case of a wom- 
an, justice is doubly blindfolded, there- 
fore the majority leaned towards Miss 

Presently Hans became aware that his 
customers began to fall off. Miss 'Neii- 
man likewise thought her business did 
not go on as well as it ought to. The 

186 A Comedy of Errors. 

fact was all the women stood by Hans. 
They remarked that their husbands fre- 
quented the lady's store too much and 
lingered too long over their purchases. 

When no customers were to be served 
in either store, Hans and Miss l^euman 
stood in their doors casting at each other 
looks of scorn and hatred. Miss Neu- 
man often sung a ditty to the tune of 
"Mein lieber Augustin." 

"Dutchman! Dutchman, oh Du-Du- 

Hans looked at her feet, then at her 
figure, his eyes slowly travelling up- 
wards to her face with an expression as 
if he were examining a dead coyote; 
then burst into demoniacal laughter, 

"Mein Gott!" 

The hatred in this phlegmatic man 
had now developed to such an extent 
that when he stood before his door and 
did not see his rival he felt uncomfort- 

A Comedy of Errors. 187 

More overt hostilities would have 
broken out before this had not Hans 
been sure that he would get the worst 
of any public exposure, as Miss Neuman 
liad the editor of the "Weekly Review" 
on her side. He had become aware of 
this after he had circulated the news 
that Miss J^euman had a made up figure. 
A slashing article appeared in the paper 
pointing out the slandering propensities 
of the Gennans in general, and wound 
up with an assurance that being well- 
informed he considered it his duty to in- 
form his readers that the figure of a cer- 
tain calumniated lady was nature's han- 

From this day forth Hans took his 
coffee without milk, whereas Miss 'New- 
man i;ook double the amount. She also 
had herself measured for a tailor-made 
dress, which decisively convinced every- 
body that Hans was a slanderer. 

In presence of female cunning Hans 

188 A Comedy of Errors. 

felt himself at his wits end, and there in 
the open door stood the fair enemy sing- 
ing her ditty about the ^'Dutchman." 

"What can I do to her?" thought 
Hans vindictively. "I have some wheat 
poisoned for rats, if I poisoned her poul- 
try? No, they would make me pay for 
it. I know what I will do." 

In the evening Miss I^euman perceiv- 
ed with astonishment that Hans was car- 
rying armfuUs of ^vild sunflower stalks 
up to his cellar wdndow. "I should like 
to know what he is up to now, it's sure 
to be something against me!" 

It had now grown almost dark, but she 
could still see Hans spreading the stalks 
in two lines, leaving a little path free 
towards the cellar window; he then 
brought something carefully wrapped up 
in a cloth, he turned his back to where 
Miss ISTeuman was watching him, took 
the cloth from the mysterious object, 
placed it tenderly on the ground and 

A Comedy of Errors. 189 

covered it with (ky leaves; then ap- 
proached the wall and began writing 
upon it. 

Miss Neiiman was quivering with ex- 

''He is writing something spiteful 
against me/' she thought. "I shall see 
what it is as soon as everybody is in 
bed, if it cost me my life." 

"\Mien Hans had finished his work he 
went leisurely into his house and soon 
afterwards extinguished the light. Then 
Miss Keuman hastily donned her wrap- 
per, thrust her bare feet into slippers, 
and went into the street. "WTien she 
came to the sunflowers, she went straight 
across the little footpath up to the win- 
dow in order to see the inscription on 
the wall. Suddenly her eyes opened 
"wide in terror, the upper part of her 
body swayed backwards and an agoniz- 
ing cry burst from her lips: 

"Help! help!" 

190 A Comedy of Errors. 

A sash in the upper story was lifted 

"Was is das?" said the even voice of 
Hans. "Was is das?" 

"Cursed Dutchman," screamed the 
lady, "you have killed me, murdered 
me. To-morrow you will be hung. 
Help! help!" 

"I am coming directly," said Hans. 

Presently he appeared with a lighted 
candle. He looked at Miss ISTeuman, 
who seemed rooted to the spot; then he 
put his arms akimbo, and burst into a 
shout of meri'v laughter. 

"Ho! ho! ho! It's Miss ]^euman! 
Ho! ho! ho! Good evening, Miss. I 
set a trap for skunks and caught a young 
lady. What were you doing at my cel- 
lar window? I wrote a warning on the 
wall to prevent people coming near it. 
Scream away; let people come and see 
that you come at nights to look into the 
Dutchman's cellar window. Oh, mein 

A Comedy of Errors. 191 

Gott! scream as loud as you can, bnt 
you will have to remain where you are 
till morning. Good night, Miss Neu- 
man, good night!" 

Miss N'euman's position was dreadful. 
If she kept on screaming people would 
collect and see her thus; what a scandal! 
If she did not scream she would have to 
stop here all night and be seen by people 
next morning, and beside her foot was 
becoming very painful. Her head began 
to swim, the stars seemed to melt one 
into the other, the moon showed the 
fiendish countenance of Herr Hans. She 

"Herr Je!" ejaculated Hans to him- 
self, "suppose she dies? They would 
lynch me without trial!" 

And his hair stood on end with sudden 
terror. He searched for the key of the 
trap, but it was not easy to unlock it, as 
Miss ISTeuman's wrapper was in the way. 
He had to jjush it aside and ... in 

192 A Comedy of Errors. 

spite of liis hatred and terror lie could 
not help looking admiringly at the little 
marble feet, visible now in the reddish 
light of the moon. 

He unlocked the trap quickly, and as 
the lady gave no sign of returning con- 
sciousness he lifted her in his strong arms 
and carried her across the street into her 
own house. During the short transit his 
hatred and aversion seemed to have van- 
ished into space and the only feeling 
he was conscious of possessing was a gen- 
tle pity and compassion for his helpless 
enemy. He returned to his house, and 
tossed restlessly on his bed all night. 
Something had disturbed phlegmatic 
Hans' equanimity. 

The next morning Miss Neuman did 
not appear in the doorway, and did not 
sing about the "Dutchman." Maybe 
she felt ashamed or maybe she was si- 
lently plotting her revenge. 

The sequel showed that it was the 

A Comedy of Eito.i-s. 193 

latter. That same evening- the editor 
of the "Weekly Review" challenged 
Hans to fight, and began by giving him 
a black eye. But Hans' blood was up 
and he began to use his fists so vigorous- 
ly that the editor was thrown full length 
on the ground and cried out: "Enough! 

Nobody knew^ how it happened, it was 
not through Hans that the whole town 
came to know of Miss jSTeuman's noctur- 
nal adventure. After the fight with the 
editor, all softer feelings vanished from 
Hans Kasche's heart, and he hated his 
rival as cordially as ever. 

He had a foreboding that the inimical 
hand was preparing new blows, and he 
had not long to wait for it either. Ameri- 
cans use ice largely and Hans always 
kept a good supply of it in his cellar. 
Gradually he became aware that nobody 
applied for ice to him any longer. The 
huge slabs he had brought by railroad 

194 A Comedy of Errors. 

were melting down and lie was already 
some fifteen dollars out of pocket. How 
was it? He saw his own partisans buy- 
ing it in the opposite stores. He could 
not make out what it meant, but resolved 
to find out the reason. The saloon-keep- 
er, Peters, passed his door. 

"Why do you not take your ice from 
me any longer?" he asked. 

"Because you have not got any," re- 
plied Peters. 

"Aherl I keep ice always," said Hans. 

"And what's that for?" asked the sa- 
loon-keeper, pointing to a notice stuck 
up on the wall. 

Hans looked, and turned green with 
rage. In the word "Notice" the t had 
been carefully erased and read "No ice." 

"Donnerwetter!" shouted Hans, and 
with livid face and trembling limbs he 
rushed into Miss Neuman's store. 

"That's a rascally business," he shout- 
ed with foaming mouth. "Why did you 
scratch out that letter. Miss?" 

A Comedy of Errors. 195 

*-Vrhat did you gay I scratched out?" 
a^ked Miss Neuman innocently. 

"Tlie letter t I say. You scratched 
out the t, but donnerwetter, this must be 
ended, yoii will have to pay me for the 

Poor Hans had lost his usual compo- 
sure and danced and shouted about the 
place like one bereft of his senses. Miss 
Neuman began to scream and people 
rushed into the store. 

"Help! help!" she called out. "The 
Dutchman is gone mad ! He says I have 
scratched something out. What should 
I scratch out unless it were his eyes, if he 
goes on like that. I am a poor, lonely 
woman ; he means to kill me, to murder 

Saying this she broke out in tears. 
The people did not understand what it 
was all about; but they could not stand 
by and see a woman shed teai*s; they 
therefore took th*^ German by the serulf 

196 A Comedy of Errors. 

of the neck snd tried to evict liim. Hans 
resisted valiantly, but in vain; out he 
had to go, and out he went flying across 
the street into his own store, where he 
fell headlong on the ground. 

A week later a painted signboard ap- 
peared above his store. It represented 
a monkey dressed in a striped gown, 
white apron and bib, a dress exactly like 
that Miss ISTeuman used to wear. Un- 
derneath was the inscription: 

"Stores at the sign of the monkey." 

People collected before the store. 
Their merriment brought Miss ISTeuman 
into the street. She looked at the sign- 
board and changed color, but with great 
presence of mind she called out at once: 

"A very appropriate sign for Herr 

But all the same the blow had struck 
home. At noon when the children, com- 
ing from school, stopped before the pic- 
ture, she had te listen to their mocking 

A Comedy of Errors. 197 

''Ob, that's Miss Neuman! Good 
morning, Miss Neuman!" 

This was too much. When the editor 
came with the milk, she said : 

"The monkey is meant for me. I 
know it's me, and I shall never forgive 
him for the insult. He shall be forced 
to take it down and lick it off with his 
tongue in my presence!" 

"What do you intend to do about it, 

'T will go to the judge.^' 



The next morning on leaving the 
store she approached Hans. 

"Listen, Herr Dutchman, I know that 
monkey is meant for me. You come 
with me to the judge and we will see 
what he says about it?" 

"He will say that anybody has the 
right to hang out a signboard." 

"V.' e'll soon see about that." 

19<S A Comedy of Errors. 

Miss Xeuman could scarcely breathe. 

"And how do you know it was meant 
for you, Miss?" 

"My conscience tells me. Come at 
once to the judge, unless you wish the 
sheriff to bring you there in handcuffs." 

"Very well, I will go," said Hans, 
who felt sure the judge could do noth- 
ing to him. 

They locked their stores and departed 
— abusing each other heartily on the 

At the very door of Monsieur Dason- 
vilie they remembered that they did not 
know English sufficiently well to explain 
the case. No, it wouldn't do, they must 
fii-st go to the sheriff. The sheriff was 
sitting on his wagon ready to start off 
on a journey. 

"Go to the devil!" he exclaimed 
quickly. "You two disturb the whole 
town, and your boots last you out the 
whole summer. I am going to fetch 
lumber. Good bye!" 

A Comedy of Errors. 199 

And off lie went at a brisk trot. 

Hans put liis arms akimbo. 

"You will have to wait till to-mor- 
row, Miss," he said, phlegmatically. 

"I shall not wait! I would rather die 
— unless you take down your sign- 

"I will not take it down, Miss." 

"Then you will swing for it! You 
will be hanged, Dutchman." 

"We can do without the sheriff. The 
judge knows all about the matter with- 
out our telling him." 

Miss Neuman was wrong for once. 
The judge was the only man in the city 
who did not know anything about their 
quarrels. The harmless old man was 
busy preparing his leroy and fancied he 
was saving the world. 

He received them as he received ev- 
erybody, kindly and w^th perfect polite- 

"Show your tongues, my children, I 
will soon give you a prescription. 

200 A Comedy of Errors. 

Both waved their arms to shoAv it was 
not for a prescription they had come. 
Miss Is'euman repeated: "It is not that 
we want." 

"What is it then?" 

Both talked at once. To Hans's one 
word Miss Neuman had ten. At last the 
lady hit upon means to make him under- 
stand; she pointed at her heart, to show 
how wounded it was by Hans Kasche's 

The judge's face brightened. "I un- 
derstand," he said, "I understand." 

Then he opened a book and began to 
write. He asked Hans his age. "Thirty- 
six." Then he asked the lady: she did 
not remember accurately, but thought 
it was about twenty-five. "All right!" 

"What Christian name? Hans-Lora. 
All right!" 

"What occupation?" "Storekeepers." 
"All right!" Then a few other questions 
Y^']lich they did not understand, but an- 

A Comedy of Errors. 201 

swered yes. The judge nodded all was 

He left off writing, rose, and to the as- 
tonishment of Lora took her in his arms 
and kissed her on both cheeks. She took 
this for a good omen, and full of pleasant 
anticipation returned home. 

''I will show you now who has got the 
upper hand," said Miss Neuman. 

"You will show some one else then," 
said the German quietly. 

The next morning the sheriff passed 
near the stores. Both stood at their 
doors. Hans puffed at his pipe. Miss 
Neuman was singing. 

"Do you wish to go to the judge?" 
asked the sheriff. 

"We have been there." 

"Well, what does he say?" 

"Dear Sheriff, good Herr Davis, go 
and ask him what he intends to do; and 
please say a word for me. You see, I 
am a poor, lonely girl. I shall visit you 
soon as I am in want of boots." 

202 A Comedy of Errors. 

The sheriff left, but returned in a 
quarter of an hour — and for some in- 
explicable reason was surrounded by a 
crowd of people. 

"Well, what is it?" asked both liti- 
gants, eagerly. 

"It's all right! It's all right!" said 
the sheriff. 

"And what has the judge done for 

"What should he have done? He has 
married you!" 

"Married us?" 

"What is there so astonishing in that? 
People do marry." 

If a thunderbolt had fallen in their 
midst they could not have been more 
startled. Hans opened his eyes and 
mouth and stared stupidly at Miss Neu- 
man, and Miss ISTeuman stared in blank 
amazement at Hans. 

"I to be his wife?" 

"I to be her husband?" 

A Comedy of Errors. 203 

"Oh hoiTor! never! We must have a 
divorce at once!" 

"I would rather die than live with the 
man. We must get divorced ; oh, what a 

"My dears," said the sheriff quietly, 
"what is the use of all this noise? The 
judge can marry you, but he cannot di- 
vorce you. What is there to cry out 
about? Are you millionaires to be able 
to go for a divorce to San Francisco? Do 
you know what it will cost you ? Take it 
easy. I have beautiful baby shoes, sell 
'em you cheap. Good bye!" 

Saying this, he went on his way. The 
people dispersed laughing, and the newly 
married couple remained alone. 

"It's that Frenchman," exclaimed the 
bride. "He has done it on purpose, 
knowing we are both Germans." 

"Richtig (correct)," replied Hans. 

"But we will have a divorce." 

"I agree with you there, Miss. What 

204 A Comedy of Errors. 

a mean thing it was for you to scratch 
that letter out." 

"I was not the first to begin; you 
caught me in a spring trap." 

"I don't care for you, Miss." 

"I hate yon." 

Upon this they separated and shut up 
their stores. She remained shut up all 
the day, thinking; and he did the same. 
Night brings rest and peace. They re- 
tired, but could not sleep. He thought: 
"There sleeps my wife." She thought: 
"There sleeps my husband." And 
strange feelings grew up in their liearts. 
It was still anger and hatred, but with 
them, an overwhelming sensation of 
loneliness. Beside that Hans thought of 
the sig-n board over his door. He would 
not let it remain now, it was a caricature 
of his wife. And it struck him that after 
all it had been a mean thing to have had 
it painted and hung up there. But then 
he hated her; it was through her his ice 

A Comedy of Errors. 205 

tliawed; it v/as true lie had caught her 
in a trap; and he saw again before his 
eves the pretty, bare feet, %vith the moon- 
light playing upon them. She is a nice 
enough girl, but she hates me and I do 
not like her. What a situation, Ach ! 
Herr Gott!" to be married to Miss iSTeu- 
man. And a divorce costs so much mon- 
ey, that all his savings would be insuffi- 
cient to cover the expense. 

''I am the wife of that Dutchman," 
said Miss !N^euman to herself. "I am 
no longer a maiden, but a married wo- 
man. And to think that I am married 
to that fellow Kasche who caught me in 
a springtrap. It's true, he took me in 
his arms and carried me upstaire. How 
strong he is. What noise is that?" 

There was no noise, but Miss ISTeuman 
was frightened, she, who had never been 
frightened before. "It's ver>' lonely for 
a single woman; it would be different 
with a man in the house. Murders had 

206 A Comedy of Errors. 

been committed before on lonely wometi 
(she had not thought of it before), some- 
body might kill and rob her some day. 
And to think that now that man Kasche 
has barred, me from matrimony. We 
must soon get a divorce, there's comfort 
in that." 

Thinking and thinking she turned 
restlessly in her bed. 

Suddenly she started, yes there was 
a noise, she had not been mistaken. In 
the stillness of the night she distinctly 
heard the knocking of a hammer. 

'^Good Lord!" screamed the lady, 
"some burglar is trying to get into the 

She jumped from her bed, put on her 
wi-apper and vushed to the window; but 
what she saw there completely restored 
the balance of her mind. By the light of 
the moon she saw a ladder, and perched 
on it the comfortable looking Hans, who, 
hammer in hand, knocked out one by 

A Comedy of Errors. 207 

one the nails which fastened the sign- 
board over his store. 

"It is good-natured on his part, he is 
taking down the monkey." 

And she felt as if something was melt- 
ing in her heart. 

Now the nails had all been withdrawn 
and the plate came rattling to the 
ground. Then he descended, knocked 
off the frame^ rolled the sheet into a 
tube, and then removed the ladder. 

The lady followed all his motions with 
her eyes. The night was quiet and 

"Herr Hans!" called she in a low tone. 

"You are not asleep. Miss ?" whispered 

"No; good evening, Herr Hans." 

"Good evening. Miss." 

"What are you doing?" 

"I have taken down the monkey." 

"Thank you, Herr Hans." 

After that there was a slight pause. 

208 A Comedy of Errors. 

"Herr Hans," whispered again the 
voice from the window. 

"What is it, Friiulein Lora?" 

"We must consult about the divorce." 




Again a slight pause. The moon look- 
ed quietly on and there seemed to be a 
laugh on his broad face. Everything 
was so quiet, not even a dog was barking. 


"Well, Friiulein Lora?" 

"I am in a great hurry to get that di- 
vorce." Her voice sounded a little plain- 

"So am I, Fraulein Lora." And his 
voice sounded sad. 

"You see, there ought not to be any 

"ISo, it is better not to delay." 

"The sooner we talk it over the bet- 

A Comedy of Errors. 209 

"The better, Fraulein Lora." 
"We might talk it over at once." 
"If you think so, we will." 
"You can come up into my room." 
The door opened gently, Hans disap- 
peared within, and presently found him- 
self in Miss Neuman's neat and pleasant 
room. She wore a white dressing gown 
and looked very pretty. 

"You see, it will cost us a deal of 
money to get a divorce." 

"Do you think anybody can see us 
from below?" 

"No, the windows are dark." 
Then began a conversation about the 
divorce which does not belong to our 

Peace returned to Struck Oil City. 


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a6. Pericles. 

27. Romeo and Juliet. 

28. The Merchant of Venice. 

29. The Merry Wives of Windsor. 

30. The Taming of the Shrew. 

31. The Tempest. 

32. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

33. The Winter's Tale. 

34. Timon of Athens. 

35. Titus Andronicus. 

36. Troilus and Cressida. 

37. Twelfth Night. 

38. Venus and Adonis and Lucrece. 
3$. Sonnets, Passionate Pilgrim, Etc. 


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